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Author: Chris Brown

Reclaiming Campbell Avenue

Reclaiming Campbell Avenue

SWOP has recently purchased multiple buildings on the 5900 and 6000 blocks of South Campbell Avenue, as the next phase of Reclaiming Southwest Chicago gets underway.  Two vacant four-unit buildings near the corner of 60th and Campbell have been purchased, as well as a single family home at 6036. 

SWOP is also working on acquisition of two other properties on the 5900 block through the Cook County Land Bank Authority.  5925 S. Campbell is a single family home right next door to 5921 S. Campbell, a two-flat that has been an eyesore for many years.

After acquisition, architectural plans will be developed and submitted to the City of Chicago for permit.  Upon completion of the rehab work these properties will be leased or sold the neighborhood residents at affordable prices.

Once permits are obtained to begin construction on the properties, it should be about three to four months until they’re ready to reoccupy. SWOP is eager to get this process started.

Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers

Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers

The Grow Your Own Illinois teacher’s training program helps individuals who have an interest in teaching do so in a way that helps the community. GYO’s target candidates are people from low- and moderate income communities who wish to pursue their interest in teaching and better the community. Their goal is to support its candidates on their journey to becoming teachers. This can be in the form of providing financial assistance, wrap around supports, and the sense belonging from a cohort of people with the same passion for education. GYO candidates get certified so that they are able to make a difference in their own communities by providing students with educators that look like them and understand their experiences.

 

In order to get properly certified, candidates must complete both the online application as well as submitting all the additional application materials. Candidates will complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree in education, or, if they’ve already completed a Bachelor’s degree, they will either take additional certification courses or complete a Master’s degree. The application for the spring 2019 program is due September 15, 2018.

 

Thus far, GYO has 118 graduates in Illinois, 105 of which are teaching in 88 schools across the state, and they are continuing to address disparities in educational attainment for underrepresented students. If you or someone you know have any interest in the program, please do not hesitate to reach out and learn more. Click HERE to access the website or contact Azalia Martinez Jaimes at a-martinezjaimes5@neiu.edu and get involved today!

Companies Coming Together

Companies Coming Together

Last Friday a group of interns at Mayer Brown lead by Joe Seliga visited the Marquette Park neighborhood. The group went on a thorough tour of the area, and concluded their trip with a Lunch at SWOP to meet the team and learn about the organization. Seliga, who grew up in the area, brought a delicious lunch from Mezquite Pollo Express. Over lunch, the group discussed SWOP’s initiatives and goals, as well as its history, and the Mayer Brown interns were able to ask questions about the organization.

After lunch, they followed in the footsteps of many SWOP lunches by splitting up in to one-offs. One SWOP person paired up with one Mayer Brown, and they learned more in depth. SWOP likes to do this for each of their lunches because one-on-one interactions require more personal understanding and people can empathize more with each other in these situations. Jeff Bartow Concluded the lunch with some final remarks about ways to bring people together, and with that the group left. The lunch was a success, and SWOP looks forward to seeing the people from Mayer Brown again!

Carnival for a Day

Carnival for a Day

Last week, Hoops in the Hood and Playstreets kicked off their Summer programs in Southwest Chicago. The premier was a hit, attracting almost 100 neighborhood residents over the course of the afternoon. The crossover event took place Friday, June 29th, on the 6000 block of South Rockwell. At 11 o’clock, the Playstreets crew loaded up cars and carried over hoops, grills, tents, tables, and more. They then transformed the residential block into a basketball court, wrestling arena, face painting booth, barbecue joint, and carnival.

 

As people began to show up around 1:00, the scorcher of a day intensified. The sun beamed down relentlessly on the 95 degree day, but it didn’t come close to stopping the kids from having hours of fun. The promise of an item from the prize box was enough incentive for many kids to play some of the carnival games for hours. Others insisted on having butterflies, cheetahs, or hearts painted on their faces, or requesting their favorite song be played at full volume so they could show off their dance moves.

 

Finally, after almost three hours, the kids began to give in to the heat and head home. The crew disassembled the block and it became a regular street once again. The kids were sad to see the day end, but relieved to hear that Playstreets would be back to blocks near theirs again this Summer.