Your Story

Tio Hardiman

“I grew up around gun violence on the South Side of Chicago between the projects of Avalon Park and the Henry Horner Homes. I saw all these young brothers losing their lives in situations that could have easily been avoided or mediated.” “I started organizing about 20 years ago because I got tired of seeing...

Harry Pena

“I joined a gang at 10 years old. I spent most of my life on the streets. I had my first taste of whiskey. I smoked. I hit teachers in school. I tortured cats.” “My father mentally and physically abused my mother. I hated him. At 12 years old, I followed him to learn his...

Sherronda Booker

“2020, after volunteering at my children’s school for so long, I was offered a job in the lunchroom. I think the wage was maybe $13 an hour. I am also a licensed cosmetologist who was not actively doing hair because I was more focused on raising my three children.” “$13-an-hour was not enough to live...

Samantha Danielle

“Alcohol licensing was easy at the federal level. I am an importer and wholesale distributor, but then you have to get it at the state level because prohibition and bootlegging made it a state-by-state decision on how to sell alcohol.”

Ron Kooyman

“I’ve been in Chicago 30 years. I came to Chicago to do inner-city youth and children’s ministry. I was 36 years old then, and violence has gotten much worse since then. That’s horrendous for somebody to be killed by a couple of criminals in his own yard while putting [Christmas] lights on his house.” “Jose [Tellez]...

Angelique Warner

“The vision and faith kept me going throughout this journey. I had a very clear vision of the functionality of GoGoVie and I had the faith to see it through.”

Marlon Chamberlain

“If someone comes out of the system and says, ‘I want to go back to school’ or ‘I want to go and do this,’ if you continue to tell that person ‘no,’ it’s almost like you’re forcing them to go back to what they know.”

Matt Nalett

“Even though it’s a crime against property, it’s still taking away peoples’ livelihoods."

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