Success through Self Determination

by Quintana Woodridge 

UYIJP graduate Keisha Ruth outside Memorial Hall before class at WIU. Photo by Quintana Woodridge.

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by Urban Youth International Journalism Program Coordinator Quintana Woodridge, herself a graduate of the UYJP. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

The Urban Youth International Journalism Program (UYIJP) has graduated thousands of young people from the J-101 journalism training classes since we got started back in 1998 and we are proud of all of them. But once in a while, we like to shine a spotlight on those who deserve some special recognition. Keisha Ruth, a graduate of the 2011 class of UYIJP who is now a junior at Western Illinois University, is proof of that the past doesn’t matter and the future can be a success.  

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Residents’ Journal Publisher talking about Deficiencies in DCFS System

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Click on the image to view the fifth episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on August 16, 2010.

Watch Residents’ Journal‘s Publisher Ethan Michaeli, talk about the disparities with the Department of Children and Family Services’ handling of suspected child abuse cases, with Diane Redleaf, executive director of the Family Defense Center.

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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

by Michael Ibrahem 

Many grandparents are finding themselves raising their children’s children for a variety of reasons, which include incarceration of the parent, substance abuse and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. Willie Mae Durdon, who lives in Englewood, said she has guardianship of five of her grandchildren. “I needed help with clothing and furniture,” she said.

Durdon turned to Childserv’s Grandfamily Support Program. The program, based in Chicago, offers assistance to grandparents who have become the primary caregivers of their grandchildren. “I have the furniture and the clothes, and I moved into [an apartment] building they were able to get me into.” Durdon said whenever she needs to call on Grandfamily Support, they help her.
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Drug Addicts: A Childhood Life with a Mother on Drugs Part Two

by Chantell Suggs 

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Sometimes it’s like you take one step up and fall three steps back. Three years after Part One of this story, I am going to tell you the rest.

In 2005, my mother moved back in with me and my son, sisters, brothers, aunt and grandmother. Things were good, but different. She was kind of living up to the mother she used to be. But then my grandmother got sick and had to go to a residential care home.
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