Stories

SWOP Is Hosting a DACA Renewal Workshop

SWOP Is Hosting a DACA Renewal Workshop

SWOP is hosting a DACA Renewal Workshop on Saturday, September 23rd at Gage Park High School, 5630 S. Rockwell.  Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. and is open until 10:00 a.m.  You are eligible to renew for DACA renewal if: Your current DACA expires on or before 3/5/18. You do not have a serious, new arrest since your last DACA approval. All previous encounters with Immigration were reported at the time of your initial DACA application. You did not leave the…

Read More Read More

Juan: A DACA Story

Juan: A DACA Story

My name is Juan and I am a DACA beneficiary.  I came to this country with my family when I was 9 years old.  As soon as I started school, it was my goal to learn English as quickly as possible, and by the time I was in eighth grade, I was able to speak it fluently.  I also was very diligent and dedicated to my studies, earning top grades consistently throughout high school and college. I was able to…

Read More Read More

Adriana Velázquez: A DACA Story

Adriana Velázquez: A DACA Story

By Adriana Velázquez It’s been 15 years since I first placed foot in this country. My name is Adriana Velazquez and I am an undocumented young adult in the south side of Chicago. I came to the United States when I was 11 years old in 2002 with my mom and my two sisters to finally live as a family with my dad and to build a better future together. I received DACA in 2013 and have had it since….

Read More Read More

SWOP’s response to the  White House’s horrifying decision to end DACA

SWOP’s response to the  White House’s horrifying decision to end DACA

Leaders of the Southwest Organizing Project are horrified at today’s White House announcement to end the highly successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has a tremendous impact on the lives of nearly 800,000 young immigrants and their communities across the United States, including more than 42,000 who live in Illinois. “Our federal government, through the much publicized DACA program, both encouraged and made a promise to young people that if they cooperated with the Federal Government, passed…

Read More Read More

Time For Another Round Of ESL Classes

Time For Another Round Of ESL Classes

by Maggie Perales SWOP is again partnering with Gage Park High School and Instituto del Progreso Latino to provide English as a Second Language classes for community residents.  The free classes begin on Tuesday, September 19th.  Literacy support begins at 9:30 a.m. and Level 1 and Level 2 classes begin at 11:30 a.m. To participate, you must register.  Registration will take place on Tuesday, September 12th and Thursday, September 14th from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at Gage Park High School,…

Read More Read More

SWOP Rallies To Support DACA

SWOP Rallies To Support DACA

On Tuesday, August 15th SWOP leaders attended a press conference downtown in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.  The purpose of the press conference was twofold: celebrate five successful years of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and to send a message to the current administration to keep the program in place. SWOP was one of many participants in the press conference pulled together by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).  Joining…

Read More Read More

Building A Vision for Gage Park High School

Building A Vision for Gage Park High School

A group of SWOP leaders, along with staff from Gage Park High School and partners gathered in the school cafeteria on Tuesday, July 18th for the first of two planning sessions.  The goal of the first session was to develop a vision of a successful Gage Park High School.  The goal of the second session, to be held on August 15th, is to develop the action plan to bring that vision to fruition. The group began with a discussion on…

Read More Read More

After a Great Run at SWOP, Andrea Ortez Moves On.

After a Great Run at SWOP, Andrea Ortez Moves On.

Andrea Ortez, most recently leading SWOP’s Parent Mentor Program, is leaving to take on education work in the south suburbs.  Andrea came to SWOP in 2008 as a Loyola student looking to make a difference in a community.  She definitely accomplished that goal.  Over her years at SWOP, she worked on Teen REACH, VOYCE, Reclaiming Southwest Chicago, community safety, and the Parent Mentor Program.  Andrea brought life and fun, and occasional baked goods, to the SWOP office.  She will be…

Read More Read More

Ready to Become a U.S. Citizen?  SWOP can help!

Ready to Become a U.S. Citizen?  SWOP can help!

On Monday, July 17th, SWOP will host our next U.S. Citizenship workshop.  SWOP staff and volunteers, working with staff from Instituto del Progresso del Latino, can help you complete your paperwork and file your application for citizenship. With funding from the State of Illinois’ New Americans Initiative and IDHS, SWOP has co-led five different workshops over the past six months where over 450 people were helped to fill out their citizenship application. You must have an appointment to participate.  Please…

Read More Read More

It’s Summer Time, Let The Fun Begin

It’s Summer Time, Let The Fun Begin

July and August will be busy times for young people and their families in Chicago Southwest.  That’s because SWOP will be hosting a number of safe and fun activities throughout the community. Starting July 11th, SWOP will kick off a weekly series of Hoop in the Hoods tournaments at Morrill Elementary and Gage Park High School.  At Hoops, teams of young people from the community will learn basketball and teamwork skills as they compete against each other and prepare for…

Read More Read More