As a young boy growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Rasheed Sami faced struggles that no child should. Some days, there wasn’t food on his table. Today, Rasheed, who’s almost 30, uses those struggles to empower others who face similar circumstances. Most recently in his journey to healing, Rasheed attended an educational symposium designed to teach South Chicago residents about trauma, how it can manifest in your life and tips to better respond to its effects.
For many families in the Chicago region, the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping can put their wallets in a pinch. The cost of school supplies, clothing and backpacks adds up quickly, especially for families with multiple children. To ease the financial burden and prepare students for their first day, United Way of Metro Chicago teamed up with Target to offer $100 shopping sprees to hundreds of local students in the weeks leading up to their return to school.
On a sun-drenched May morning, murmurs from behind closed doors echoed down the muraled hallways of Thomas Hoyne Fine Arts Elementary School in South Chicago. Sitting in a quiet neighborhood below the Chicago Skyway, the school educates around 250 students in kindergarten through eighth grades.Within its brick walls, a robust sense of community thrives thanks to exceptional teaching staff and administration, including two devoted teachers, Ms. Katie Jenner and Ms. Stephanie Armstead.
For more than 40 years, United Way has teamed up with the National Football League (NFL) to drive lasting change in communities. So when El Valor, one of our community partners serving the South Chicago neighborhood, needed a hand to create an outdoor space for local youth, the NFL was eager to step up.
In a region that receives limited city investment and experiences high rates of unemployment and violence, community leaders have joined forces as the South Chicago Neighborhood Network. Through focused collaboration, the coalition of two dozen social service agencies, schools, hospitals and residents are growing a stronger community and supporting a culture of care for those who have been impacted by trauma. Together, they’re planting the seeds for a thriving community.