This past month I had the opportunity of visiting the notorious “Windy City”, or better known as, Chicago for the first time in part of my school’s Alternative Spring Break program. The purpose of these trips are to visit different communities within a city to promote various initiatives that counter the plagues of our inner city youth; this year, Chicago’s initiative was combatting gun violence through creative expression and channeling energy to produce positive outputs into the world. These efforts focused on education, advocacy and the prevalent issue of deaths and homicides.
Service There is a plethora of organizations in the Chicago area that are founded on giving back in some capacity. The city faces great strife and fortunately there are people who are devoted to restoring hope for the generations to come. The benefits of being a part or even witnessing the work done is realizing the impact you can make in someone’s life. In all honesty, it’s extremely humbling and an invaluable experience to cherish for a lifetime. The main lesson I took take away is, not letting your circumstances define your divined outcomes.
I encourage all readers who are interested to learn more about KLEO, Cease Fire, Louder than a Bomb and Perspectives Charter School if you would like to be involved in community service.
People Let me start off by saying, bless the hearts of the people in Chicago, because they are truly like angels walking here on Earth. Instantly, the groups of individuals and organizations, I had the pleasure of meeting and learning more about was amazing. You feel the sense of community and comradery regardless of the setting. Each person has a unique story to be told and the adversity that many of these Chicagoans had overcome is inspiring. In addition, there is so much potential and talent that these people possess that leave a reciprocal impression of being a better person after having met them.
Downtown Whenever I go to a city, I always anticipate the moment when I’m able to view its skyline, and for Chicago, the sight was spectacular. The city’s architecture is really like no other. From a distance, the buildings appear to be modern yet futuristic at the same time—which is why I was so mesmerized. When I finally arrived in the downtown hub, there was an endless list of things to do, so I’m sharing some recommendations for your next visit,
- Garrett’s Popcorn
- The Skydeck Chicago
- Magnificent Mile
- Giodano’s Deep Dish Pizza (Perfect for all cheese lovers!)
- Millennium Park/ Cloud Gate
- Kuumba Lynx
Needless to say, Chicago is a city of beauty and hope. While there may be many depictions, stereotypes or connotations of Chicago, very few encompass its totality. It’s a city to travel to, if at least several times in your life and experience for yourself- the impact the city leaves on you is priceless.