March 8th, 2007
We’re building out our meeting space! Although “Chicago is our Classroom” sometimes we need a place to meet with students.
We’ve also been able to move into the space next door on our floor & add some more offices.
Our program is growing, we’re adding more staff, and we need to make some room up here!
pictures by Claire Sandahl
March 8th, 2007
Claire Sandahl describes this experience:
This is the second time I have heard Azim Ramelize (seated, center) speak with a class and it did not seem repetitive at all. His story is fascinating and inspiring but he is not a cheesy motivational speaker. His story is filled with passion and intensity. The intensity that one only dreams of possessing.
Both times I have heard him speak he has told the sequence of events that him to where he is today. The man went from being a leader of a gang to studying at Cornell University to Law School to an attorney to the Department of Children and Youth Services.
It really stuck out to me how he was all self motivated. People kept telling him that Cornell is too hard, that he couldn’t do what he wanted to do. Azim wouldn’t let anyone or anything shake him away from his goals and passions, not even a crippling gunshot wound in the back. When I think of all this man has accomplished I just feel kind of lazy. I feel like I have worked hard and that I am self motivated. But not in comparison to Azim.
Both times I have brought students to meet with him he opens up asking each person in the room a series of questions. Today the questions were
What’s your name?
Where do you attend college?
What’s your major?
If you could have five people over to dinner (dead or alive) who would they be?
How would you change the world today?
Every student had a different answer and Azim discussed each answer in length. He asked questions and made comments. He stated he couldn’t be in a room with people and talk to them if he didn’t know them.
I think my favorite thing about going to talk to him is how he articulates his points. One could easily say they like their job or that they are really passionate about their job. Azim shows you that he is passionate. He stated, “Don’t ever take a job that you wouldn’t do for free.”
It got me thinking about what I would do for free. Makes me wonder what the future will bring.
March 7th, 2007
The text below is from the online blog, chicagoist.com.
. . . Chicago seems like an ideal candidate to host the games according to Sports Illustrated’s Maggie Haskins.
Chicago is a beautiful, multi-ethnic city that would likely embrace the Olympics rather than dread the congestion it’d bring like many New Yorkers did. Already the hub of summer in Chicago, the Grant Park/Millennium Park area would be the perfect gathering place during the festivities. Visitors would have the opportunity to enjoy the skyline, the lake and a world class park with space for the usual concerts, etc. that go on during the games.
In terms of athletic infrastructure, we already have pretty much everything needed. The new Soldier Field could be used for the opening and closing ceremonies and track & field. The United Center would be available for basketball. There’s the UIC Pavilion and AllState Arena, the new soccer stadium in Bridgeview, the Lake Michigan for sailing, McCormick Place or the facilities at the universities for the smaller sports, etc. Maybe build a beach volleyball stadium on Northerly Island? . . .
As Haskins’ column mentioned, our mass transit is also robust enough to handle the crowds while also offering visitors a better feel for the city than an underground train system might.
This chicagoist.com entry lists many of our city’s treasures but completely overlooks the South Side of Chicago and what we have to offer. For example, Mayor Daley is proposing to build an Olympic stadium and village in Washington Park, one of the largest parks in the nation. It’s uses now include soccer, cricket, baseball, softball, festivals such as the African Festival of the Arts, Soul Circus, family barbeques, biking, birding and more.
Mayor Daley as he leaves Washington Park – a possible site of a Chicago Olympic Village. (Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)