What We Need Now

by  , Youth Reporter from Altgeld Gardens

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program class at People for Community Recovery, a not-for-profit organization based in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.

Growing up in Altgeld Gardens for 19 years, experiencing everything that goes on out here. I don’t even know where to begin.

There’s a lot of violence—gang violence, too.

But the main thing that concerns me in my neighborhood is there is nothing to do in our neighborhood. There are not many programs to keep the kids occupied and out of trouble.

So how do we help these kids so that they can stay out of trouble?

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Youths Testify for Alternative Schools


“Without funding schools like Bronzeville that are central to the development of the city’s youth, we’ll fail. There won’t be a future without us,” said Keidra Williams, a junior at the Bronzeville Academic Center, to State of Illinois officials during a public hearing on January 9 at the Chicago Urban League.

Bronzeville junior high school student Keidra Williams, (right) talking to Illiniois legislators about the importance of funding alternative high schools for students who dropped out of public schools, during the public hearing on the national youth joblessness and high school drop out rate at the Chicago Urban League on January 9, 2009.
Photo by Mary C. Johns

Williams was one of several students to testify on national youth joblessness and the high school dropout crisis. A student at Bronzeville, an alternative high school at 220 W. 45th Place, Williams added that schools like hers “need more funding to promote achievement of its students.”
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