Interview with Jennifer Perez from Heartland Alliance

Interview with Jennifer Perez from Heartland Alliance

What is Heartland Alliance and how/when did it start?

Heartland Alliance is a non-profit organization that is huge! I can’t even begin to explain it. This is the blurb you can see on our website.

Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, we help ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety.

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Spoken Word artist creates ‘place of peace’ with Solace Souls Sundays open mic

Spoken Word artist creates ‘place of peace’ with Solace Souls Sundays open mic

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“A Place of Peace in the Midst of Turmoil” is what one Chicago Spoken Word and Hip Hop artist has created in the Bridgeport Neighborhood at The Spoken WordMagazine & Lounge.

Jerode Rodgers, whose stage name is Jeronimo Speaks, gives Chicagoans a ‘place of peace’ with the open mic showcase, Solace Souls Sundays, which he hosts every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.

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Donda’s House

Donda’s House

Arts and youth matter! With budget cuts and increasing political issues, nonprofits such as Donda’s House are in need of resources. Please support this amazing organization as it continues to educate the community and provide a safe-environment for the people of Chicago.

To donate please click below, anything counts!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/heart-matters

Launched August 2013, Donda’s House “Got Bars” program is slowly making its mark as the creative hub of our generation. Founded by the legendary Kanye West and led by Che “Rhymefest” Smith. Rhymefest, childhood friend and West’s cowriter, started the “Got Bars” program with the focus on music/lyric composition and performance. This unique program aimed towards 15-24 year olds, prides itself on the “90’s artist environment” where all artists are pushed to become creative mentally and physically.

Backed by the largest names in hip hop, Kanye West and Rhymefest, applicants from different corners of the city wrestled the cold Chicago weather to be part of the Donda Family. As the air grew thicker inside the Ark of St. Sabina, tensions ran high as applicants proved why they earned their title as an artist.
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Project: VISION – Support for community youths

Project: VISION – Support for community youths

Organizations that focus on development and support of youths are pillars in Chicago’s communities. Project: VISION is one such nonprofit organization that helps youths in the Chinatown and Bridgeport neighborhoods. Last month we had a chance to talk about Project: VISION with its executive director, Karen Chiu, and development coordinator, Sandy Guan.

Project: VISION was founded in 2003 by Chiu and four fellow co-founders. Chiu, a physician, was an active community volunteer in the Chinatown neighborhood in which she grew up. After volunteering for a youth program in between years at medical school, the experience gave her the idea of providing services for youth development in Chinatown and neighboring Bridgeport. Project: VISION focuses specifically on helping adolescents in the 12-18 year old range. Programs offered include after school homework tutoring, college workshops and ACT prep classes. In addition to these educational services, Project: VISION also creates programs to encourage students to get involved in community service and to develop leadership skills.

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The Learning Center

The Learning Center

In late December, I had the privilege to visit the The Learning Center, a non-profit providing free adult education in the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods.

Through a partnership with Malcolm X College, they help students improve reading, writing and math skills while also preparing some for the GED test. The Learning Center also offers employment assistance, and financial and education counseling.

Just from one conversation with Marilu, the director of The Learning Center, you can see the passion and dedication that people like her and countless others in Chicago put forth to help ones in need. It is truly inspirational.

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