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Farmers Market Encourages Healthy Eating in BOTY

On 51st and Wood are a corner/liquor store, several brick apartment buildings, and a busy intersection. There are no grocery stores located on the block, with only several in the neighborhood. But fast food restaurants and corner stores are still more accessible than produce stores. Yet, at this intersection is a local community garden that […]

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A Buzzworthy Business: A girl, her bike and bees

Ancient civilizations have long believed in the power of honey for its health benefits. In recent years, urban beekeeping has been growing in popularity alongside urban farming and the organic, local food movement. One Chicago woman, Jana Kinsman, 27, had a vision to create her own small business, tending beehives in community gardens across Chicago, […]

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Preparing for College with New Futuro

Latino high school students and their parents filled the UIC Forum on Saturday Nov. 12, for what is being called the largest one-day college-prep fair in the Midwest. Held by New Futuro, a company that is committed to helping Latino students attend college, participants learned how to prepare, apply and pay for college while avoiding […]

John Lamonica: Giving Youth the Skills to Succeed

Ironwork has been a part of John Lamonica’s life ever since he can remember. From a young age he learned how to craft objects and designs with his hands (a family-known skill) providing him with a sort of self-satisfaction and pride, which over the years, he’s worked to instill in the youth he mentors in […]

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Stacy Koumbis Brings Resources to Local Communities

When Stacy Koumbis first arrived to Tilden Career Community Academy High School three years ago, she said she “didn’t understand the community.” As she sits in her office, talking to a current student and giving her advice about friendships, it is clear that is no longer the case. Koumbis, who studied sculpture and printmaking at […]

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“The Plant” Owner John Edel Chooses Stockyards to House Industrial Vertical Farm

As the Stockyards continue to become a place for innovation and sustainability projects (Testa Produce opened a green distribution center earlier this year), John Edel, 41, has joined the movement, working in the neighborhood he has always found fascinating. He calls himself an industrial history buff and said that as a lifelong Chicagoan, understanding the […]

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Financial Expert Leaves Corporate World to Empower Communities

Ingrid Garcia (left) stands alongside State Rep. Esther Golar during the Unity in the Community event on June 4, 2011. Representatives and members of the community joined together to clean up the viaduct between Winchester and Hoyne Avenues on 49th Street for a mural that will be painted along its wall. Ingrid Garcia, financial counselor […]

Neighbor Takes Action to Better His Block

Rafael Rivera knows what he needs to do to get things done in his block. Back when he lived in Humboldt Park, according to Rivera, he used to regularly reach out to local elected officials to point out various things that needed improvement in his block. Now, a resident of Back of the Yards, his […]

Francisco Muñoz: Music Teacher

Even rock star status on their Guitar Hero video game wasn’t enough for 12-year old Edgar Hernandez and his 11-year-old brother Jose. They wanted to play a real guitar, hear real fans and perform on a real stage. “I want to be a real rock star,” said Jose. “And a doctor.” The brothers figured their […]

Neighbor Profile: Jose Luis Alvarado

Neighbor Profile: Jose Luis Alvarado

Jose Luis Alvarado knew his calling ever since he was in second grade. Inspired by his teachers at Hedges Elementary School and his mother who was a teacher assistant at the same school, Alvarado knew he wanted and had to be an educator. “When I was young I said I wanted to be like [my […]