Tag: Loyola 4 Chicago

Chicago Hopes

Chicago Hopes

From my new friend Alexis

One of my favorite parts about Loyola is the number of opportunities for service that are presented to the students.  Being a service-oriented person, I have always been drawn to that aspect of my school.

When I was a freshman, I signed up for an organization called Loyola 4 Chicago.  What I didn’t know then was how involved I would soon become.  Loyola 4 Chicago (or L4C) is a service-based group that runs through the Center for Community Service and Action.  Students sign up for a semester-long commitment, and L4C sends them to various volunteer sites throughout the Chicago area.

I have volunteered as a tutor in three different locations since I joined L4C.  But my experience this year is unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  Currently, I’m volunteering as a tutor at Chicago Hopes, a non-profit organization that aims to serve the homeless children in Chicago.  Unfortunately, the average age of a homeless person in Chicago is 9. Consequently, the people at Chicago Hopes have their work cut out for them.

Chicago Hopes works in various homeless shelters throughout Chicago, though I have been working for one in Uptown called Cornerstone Community Outreach.  Located just off the Wilson Red Line, Cornerstone shelters homeless men, women, and children.  Chicago Hopes comes in every day to offer an after school program for the children staying in the shelter.

I have been working with a second grader named Alexis.  She may be small, but the girl is bursting with personality!  I usually have to remind her to start on her homework, because I think she would be perfectly content to just sit and chat for our entire two hour session.  Even though we’ve only worked together a few times, she is already talking to me like we’re old friends.

Chicago Hopes has been my first volunteer experience with the homeless, and easily the most rewarding.  I am humbled by the life and spirit that I’ve seen in these kids.  Without the stability of a physical home, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to focus on an education.  Yet the children of Chicago Hopes show up everyday ready to work.

And the motivation in the students is a clear reflection of the Chicago Hopes staff.  The entire organization is run by volunteers who have a vested interest in the lives of these children.  It is through their hard work and dedication that the organization continues to grow.

I would encourage anyone looking for service opportunities to take a look at Chicago Hopes.  Its name truly does it justice.

Loyola 4 Chicago

Loyola 4 Chicago

This semester I have been lucky enough to volunteer as a tutor each week at a Jesuit school in Chicago! The organization that has made this possible is Loyola 4 Chicago.

Loyola 4 Chicago is a program in Loyola’s Center for Community Service and Action, that provides opportunities for students to work with nearby communities in Chicago. They have many different volunteer sites and do work that ranges from helping the homeless to tutoring students.

I am part of a group that goes to the Chicago Jesuit Academy (CJA) each Tuesday and tutors students. CJA is a full-scholarship, Jesuit, male, middle school for children of “modest” economic backgrounds. The school day is extended as well as the length of the school year with their goal being to prepare their students for college. I have had the opportunity to see first hand the amazing and life changing things that this school is doing for their young men.

Being a future teacher myself, I really cherish my experience tutoring at this school. I have been able to see how the teachers at CJA handle rowdy students and the different techniques they implement in order to keep order in general. One rule is that all of the young men call us tutors Miss. or Mr. [last name] and we call them Mr. [last name]. This establishes a mutual respect and makes working with the students more personal.

Loyola provides my group with a van that fits all nine of us so that we do not have to take public transportation. The hour long car ride gives us a chance to bond as a group and reflect on our experiences tutoring. I am very grateful for this opportunity that Loyola has provided me and I can not wait till next Tuesday!