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“They Call us Alien”

  My mom came to the U.S when she was 14   Hair thicker than her accent   Crossed planes of desert with nothing but water and the prayers she kept in her pocket   Grew up here cleaning toilets in houses she’ll never get to live in   Had 7 children, when I was […]

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A Back of the Yards West Point Story

Sitting upright with perfect posture in his living room sofa chair, Back of the Yards College Prep (BOYCP) Senior Zorian Flowers described how, like many before him, a book helped shape and inspire his future.  Flowers, 17, was recently accepted into the prestigious United States Military Academy known as West Point.  He credits Battle Dress, […]

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Collaborations form to organize immigration workshops

Photo by: Keyandre Jackson Mural by: Martanoemí Noriega (Panamá) Jenny Morales Olaya (Panamá) Delilah D. Salgado (Chicago), Valerie Valdez (Chicago), Gloe (Chicago) In neighborhoods across the city, immigration advocacy groups have been generating information sessions to keep undocumented residents and allies informed about their rights under the law. Beginning late last year, several information sessions […]

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Parents of Hedges pave way for future generations

The aroma of pickled jalapenos filled the room at Hedges Elementary as a group of mothers chatted while they finished breakfast. The Padres de Hedges convene every day while their children attend class to plan school projects, patrol the school grounds and inform parents of community resources. The group formed about 25 years ago when […]

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New Economic Development Program Launches on the South and West Sides of Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced new resources designed to support thriving retail corridors across Chicago’s South, Southwest and West Sides. The Retail Thrive Zones initiative will invest an initial $16 million directly into commercial strips in eight neighborhoods, creating jobs and new amenities for neighborhood residents. “Neighborhood businesses are the heart of Chicago’s neighborhoods and […]

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Elevating youth voices: “We are part of the solution”

When we were assigned to work the DACA project through the One Summer Chicago jobs program, we weren’t sure what to expect. Citlali Sandoval, 18, and myself (Xitlali Lopez, 18) grew up in Back of the Yards but were brought here from Mexico by our parents as children. Throughout our lives, we were raised to […]

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Op-Ed: El futuro del barrio, está en nuestras manos

The future of the neighborhood is in our hands My parents immigrated to Chicago in the early ‘90s when they were teenagers and, like many immigrants before them, they decided to settle in Back of the Yards. At the age of 16, my mother gave birth to me at St. Anthony Hospital. My dad worked […]

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Richards Career Academy celebrates first-ever Gates Millennium Scholar

Getting scholarships for college has become increasingly competitive, and the Gates Millennium scholarship is no exception. Richards Career Academy Senior Demareo Jones, 18, was recently awarded the prestigious award that will cover tuition expenses all the way to the doctorate level for students pursuing coursework in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). The application process took […]

Davis Square Park baseball diamonds get facelifts

The opportunity to enjoy America’s favorite pastime has been revived in Davis Square Park following the completion of a Cubs Charities-funded facelift.  Members of the community, the Back of the Yards College Prep baseball team, Davis Square Park leagues and a number of public officials gathered Thursday, May 27 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate […]

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“Hearts Up, Guns Down”

The rain didn’t keep Back of the Yards youth, local artists, neighborhood leaders, law enforcement and the mayor from coming together for the 3rd Annual Faith and Action Summer Kickoff at Davis Square Park Friday, May 27. Children doodled with crayons and markers at a creative play station installed just behind the artists while they […]