Friday, February 28, 2014

Fun things I have been doing

I have gotten to do a lot of fun stuff since I have been in Chicago. I have been to a cubs game, a bulls game, the Blackhawks game at Soldier Field, jazz Fest, Mardi Gras at Navy Pier, and a lot of other things. 

When I first moved to Chicago at the end of August I went to two Cubs games. It was the first time I had been to Wrigley Field for a game. I had a blast. The Cubs lost the first game to the Marlins and beat the Braves in the second game.

I also went to Jazz Fest not long after moving to Chicago. It was at Mellinium Park. I had a lot of fun.

I also have gotten to go to my first Bulls game in Chicago. I went with my roommate Clarissa and her brother around Christmas. We had a lot of fun. We went to dinner before the game at Gino's East then headed over to the game. The Bulls beat the Cavs that night.

I January my roommates and I went ice skating at Mellinium Park. It was our community day event. We had a great time.

Recently I went to Mardi Gras at Navy Pier and the Blackhawks game at Soldier Field.
 I started my day at Navy Pier for Mardi Gras. It was a crazy event with a ton of people. Part of the party was a pub crawl that went all around Navy Pier and one of the boats. I spent most of my time on the boat. It was cool to get to see lake and hang out.

Later that day I went to the Blackhawks game at Soldier Field. It was my first Blackhawks game and my First time at Soldier Field. I froze my tail off at the game but had an amazing time. It was very cold and snowy. The Blackhawks beat the Penguins 5-1.

Most recently I went to the St. Patricks Day parade. It was really crazy. There were a ton of people. But overall it was a lot of fun.
The parade is a tradition in Chicago. It was the first time I have ever been. It was cool to see all the people in the parade and what a big deal it was. The bagpipers were my favorite part.

Overall this year has been an absolute blast. I have gotten to do a lot of fun things for the first time in my life. I am looking forward to doing a lot of other fun things throughout the rest of the year.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


This last month or so of work has been crazy. It has been really busy. There have been some issues with some of the kids that I have had to work through. It's made my job tough. It took me some time to figure out how to handle it. 
  It started with a kid who thought not living was the only choice. That student ended up getting a lot of help. I didn't know how to handle that situation once the student was back. I got a lot of help from my friends. Just being able to talk to them about it made it easier for me to handle that situation. Since I have never been in that kind of situation it was very tough for me.
  Later in the month another student lost their dad to an unexpected death. It was very tough on this student. I was able to talk to them about it and just let them know I was there for them. It just added to a tough few weeks. 
  Most recently one of the students lost their mom to jail. The mom has been in hail for a while but was sentenced recently. Finding this out has been a good and bad thing. It has been tough on the student and me because they have been acting out. The good part is knowing what is causing this and how to help this student. 
  These things have been really stretching me. It has been a lesson learning point in my year and my life. I have had the chance to learn a lot about the kids and what they deal with on a daily basis. It has also taught me a lot about myself. It has taught me that I need to have people that I can talk to about certain things, that sometimes I don't need to say anything but just be there and listen, and that I might not have gone through those things but I can be someone that can grow and help people grow through situations like that.
  Overall it's been a great year. It's had it's ups and downs. I have learned a lot and can't wait to see what else I will learn.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Working at Build Chicago

I am doing a volunteer year through a program called YAV( Young Adult Volunteers). I was placed with an organization named Build Chicago. I am interning there through my volunteer year.  This organization works with kids doing gang intervention and prevention. So far it has been great.
  I am working at an elementry school doing gang prevention. The name of the school is Leif Ericson. It is a K-8 school. When I'm at the school I work with the kids in a classroom setting as well as helping with recess. In the classrooms I help the kids with their work along with helping the teacher with anything they need. It has been great to get to know the kids and see them progress in school.
 I also work with an after school program through Build. We have about 60 kids that are in the program every afternoon. I help them with their homework, mentor them, help teach them social skills and life skills, and play games with them and have a good time. It's a great place for these kids to come and hang out, get the help they need with their homework, and a place for them to learn things they would not on the street.
 Their have been some things that have happened with a few of the kids that have been really rough and stretched me in ways I never thought possible. I have had kids lose parents gun violence, kids who have tried to give up in life, and kids who have really excelled in areas that I didn't know you could excel in at that age. 
 I have taken these kids under my wing. I am trying to help them the best I can and teach them that there are people out there who care for them and want to see them succeed. I really see these kids doing a lot in their life. These kids are very smart and very perceptive. They have a lot going for them.
 This year has been great so far. I have learned a lot. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Christmas Break

  Christmas was a lot of fun. I got to go home for a week. I got to see a lot of people I have not seen in 4 months. It was a well worth it trip.
  I flew home to Atlanta the Sunday before Christmas. I was super excited to get home. That night I was home for all off 15 minutes before I left to go to a Christmas party. I had been looking forward to this for a couple weeks. I got to see a lot of people from church. The best part was seeing the freshman college guys that were kids I worked with when they were in high school. I also got to see a great friend of mine that was the main reason I am doing the stuff I am doing. It turned out to be a great night.
  That Monday I went out shopping with my sister. We had a great time. It was nice to spend some quality time with her. Then on Tuesday I went to Dunwoody. It's was nice to see all my friends at the Christmas Eve service. That night I went to a Christmas party with my family and friends and had a great time. Thursday I went to lunch with a buddy of mine then hung out with all the guys I have not gotten to hang out with in a while .
  Friday we drove back to Chicago and my family stayed up here for a few days. The weekend was amazing. We went to Oakbrook with my aunt, went to my cousins restaraunt for dinner, went to Naperville to see family, went downtown to shop, went ice skating at Mellinium Park, and had a great time. 
  Overall Christmas break was awesome. It went by way to fast. I can't wait to see everybody again. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


December was a crazy month. I had all sorts of Christmas parties to attend and a lot of different events at work to go to. The best parts of the month had to be the Diversity Conference and the Holiday Gift Giving events at work.

The Diversity Conference was put on by Build's youth council. It was a conference that had different workshops and performances for the kids to be a part of and do. The workshops ranged from gentrification and the history of Chicago to cyber violence in today's world. These workshops were a great way for the kids to learn a lot about different issues in Chicago and around the world.
  Once the workshops were over the kids were able to show off their talents. That afternoon we had a lot of kids who got up on stage and played instruments, rapped, and sang. These kids are amazing performers. They blew me away with what they could do. 

(Diversity Conference)

  The next big event was the Holday Gift Giving event. We nominated families from our program that we felt would benefit from this event. Then families from each school were selected to come to the event (3-4 families from each school). We had everybody come to our office for dinner and to give gifts to about 70 kids. This event was a huge success. The kids and their families had a great time. It was really co to hear what people were thankful for and see everybody on staff do something for these kids at the holidays.
  There was one family that I was really happy to have there. They went through a tough holiday season. Two of the students I work with at Ericson lost their dad in October or early November. He was shot and killed. The two kids had a really tough time dealing with it. I wanted them to be a part of this event to let them know that there were people out there that care about them and will be there for them. I was really happy to see they had a good time and that they were making it through the hard times with the support of people who care about them. 

(Holiday Gift Giving)

  December turned out to be an amazing month in so many ways. I really enjoyed getting to be a part of these events and really get to know what people are going through. I would not change it for the world. I can't wait to see what is left for the rest of the year!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Weekend

This weekend was awesome! My roommate Clarissa and I went to Wrigleyville yesterday to hang out and watch college football. We went to a sports bar called Murphy's Bleachers. It is a Kansas State bar. The only reason I went is because Clarissa is a K-State fan. After a while we went and walked around Wrigleyville. We went to see the statues outside of Wrigley Field. We had a lot of fun.

( top two: Harry Carey, middle: Ron Santo, bottom: Billy Williams)

Later that afternoon I met up with my cousin and her husband. We went out to dinner at my other cousins restaurant. We had a great time catching up and hanging out. Later that night we came back to my place and hung out for a little while. I can't wait to see her twice more this month. Overall this weekend was awesome and I can't wait to have many more.

Friday, November 8, 2013

My First Cubs Game!

On Labor Day I got to go to my first Cubs game! The Cubs played the Marlins. I had and absolute blast even though the Cubs lost. Patrick Sharp and Andre Dawson threw out the first pitch at the game.

( top: Patrick Sharp bottom: Andre Dawson)

Wrigley Field was absolutely amazing. It was worth every moment. I was really excited to finally go to Wrigley Field to see a Cubs Game.

(Picture from Wrigley Field stands)

The Seventh inning stretch was sung by Hall of Fame Blackhawks left winger Bobby Hull. It was wild and crazy in the stadium when this happened. It was a lot of fun.

( Hall Of Famer Bobby Hull)

I loved every moment of my day at Wrigley Field. I am so happy I spent my day that way. I will always be a Cubs Fan!