“The Chicago Center for Urban Life Culture has been a great experience to me with the help from the fellow staff. Not only has it benefited my life, but also, it has impacted other lives as well. This was represented in its entirety during the luncheon and the 40th anniversary. The luncheon had a great turnout with the alumnus, founders, staff, and current students. I think it was a great way to bring all the people who had gone through the Chicago Center, past and present, to exchange stories of how they have changed following this experience. Also, it was great to be around during the ribbon cut as it represented the 40 years of success. The founders of the Chicago Center and the others that kept it going for 40 years deserved all the gratitude they received. I couldn’t imagine what they had gone through to make it to this point, but I’m thankful they made it, so I could get the opportunity to experience Chicago. It was great for me to meet some of the alumni, to see how their lives are going and any other things that came to mind. I will say the food helped top off the luncheon right.
Following the luncheon, I went to set-up for the Gala. Upon arrival, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The building exterior and interior were marvelous. They had a great mixture of colors and decorations to coincide with each other. When I walked in, I could sense it was going to be a wonderful night and indeed, it turned out that way. The Chicago Center had a lot of supporters, as represented at the Gala. There were 202 guests at a facility that had a capacity of 200. This just proves that the Chicago Center has changed so many lives over the years. 40 years is a long time, but through thick and thin, they stuck around to change lives time after time. As for me, I’m glad I made this decision because this experience as given me a new perspective on life. Coming from a place where different perspectives rarely differ, this experience really gave me a much in depth insight to life, and I plan on sharing that when I venture back home. Because of the Chicago Center, I have become a well-rounded individual in all aspects of life and upon my completion here, I plan on taking what I’ve learned here, back home and sharing it with others. 40 years and still going strong till this day. This is a such a great accomplishment for the Chicago Center. Because of my experience with the Chicago Center and the city of Chicago, if it all works out, I plan on returning to the City of Chicago to make a difference where it’s needed. I just want to thank you for this life changing experience. It’s well appreciated.”
~Austin George Smith, Bethel College, Fall 2010 Urban Academic Practicum Student
“Today was such a lovely day. I’m not going to recount the day for you because you were there and I have plenty of pictures to help me remember, but I will say one thing. I feel so blessed to be a part of such an incredible organization. I didn’t realize how many people you have touched or how far the Chicago Center’s reputation has reached. I have met some of the best people EVER here and I am dreading leaving. I have never been so close to a group of people and felt so at home. I really hope we are able to stay in touch, because these people are better friends than people I’ve known for years. If anyone was debating whether or not to come here I would tell them that this has been the most amazing semester of my schooling. This is not a just a program it’s like a home. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be one of your kids for a semester!”
~Ryann Bird, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Fall 2010 Urban Academic Practicum Student