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.

Marilu has big plans for 2014 to expand the program at the The Learning Center. It easy to see how the benefits they offer can also work for others elsewhere in the city. Non-profits, especially community based ones, need the help of volunteers to help scale their programs and outreach. Chicago Rises hopes to help and looks forward to The Learning Center’s continued success.