Diane Latiker is one woman who had decided to do something about the gun violence in Chicago. It has grown into Kids Off the Block.
So, let’s look at this story a bit, but you will need to hit the link to go deeper. Just sharing some key points.
Latiker decided to invite the children in and figure out what interested them. She wrote them corny rap songs to perform. She took them skating, swimming and to the movies. The kids had a blast. The next week, three or four others showed up. Then two or three more.
“Within a couple of weeks we had 30 kids coming to the house,” Latiker said.
Latiker said she’s seen young people change their lives, leave gangs, stop carrying weapons, and go to college. Despite the success, space is a challenge. Latiker is still mainly running the program from her house.
And a bit from one of the kids:
Among this year’s kids is Daqwon Hargrove, 12, who began coming to Kids Off the Block in the spring and is enrolled in the summer basketball tournament.
“In Roseland, there’s a lot of shooting and stuff. It’s not safe to walk around at night. Around like eight o’clock, be in the house,” he said. “Miss Diane treats me like I’m her own son. And I treat her like she is my own mom. That makes me feel like somebody cares about me, other than my family.”
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