All posts by zhejunwang2018

Chicago Volunteer Expo connects volunteers with local nonprofits

By Eunice Wang
Medill Reports

At the annual Chicago Volunteer Expo,  people come by the hundreds, seeking ways to give back to the community. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum hosted the event on February 18 for the sixth year in a row. Around 100 local nonprofits had tables at the museum, offering Chicagoans options for volunteering in areas like  healthcare, the environment, animal rights and social justice.

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Glass heart workshop offers a fiery Valentine’s date for couples

By Eunice Wang
Medill Reports

Ignite Glass Studios in West Town has an idea for couples planning a non-traditional date for this Valentine’s Day: create a heart of glass.

The studio is running a seasonal workshop called Date Night at Ignite from Feb. 9 through Valentine’s Day. Participants make a glass heart, giving them a special gift for the day of romance.

Glassmakers at Ignite Studios say the durability of glass honors longevity in love, and the process of glass-making can unite the couple over the object they’ve created together.

“It’s handcrafted, so it comes from your hands and your heart,” said Josh Laabs, a glass artist at Ignite Glass Studios.

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February programs help pet owners reduce overpopulation of animals

By Eunice Wang
Medill Reports

The last day of February is World Spay Day, a campaign created by the Humane Society International. To highlight the importance of spaying and neutering pets, The Anti-Cruelty Society, an animal rescue service in downtown Chicago, has been providing a low-cost clinic to the public.

Spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and cats have helped lead to a significant decline in the number of animals coming into the city shelters, according to David Dinger, the Vice President of Operations at The Anti-Cruelty Society.

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10-year-old social entrepreneur’s ‘Blessing Bags’ raise awareness about homelessness

By Eunice Wang
Medill Reports

Ten-year-old Jahkil Jackson is a young social entrepreneur who founded Project I Am — an organization to help the homeless — two years ago. He brings street comfort to homeless people with what he calls “blessing bags.”

Teaming up with volunteers from different local organizations, Jahkil passed out 5,000 blessing bags by the end of 2017. His compassion for the homeless has won him a 2017 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes and attention from former president Barack Obama on Twitter. He said he is planning to distribute 6,000 blessing bags this year.

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Immigrants and activists rally in Chicago for a ‘clean’ Dream Act

By Eunice Wang
Medill Reports

Several hundred people from different communities rallied in Daley Plaza on Jan. 17 in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 200,000 Salvadorans. They also called for leaders to pass the Clean DREAM Act, a bill that would offer a permanent solution for immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

“We are here today to say to the Congress, to hear our voices, and hear us loud and clear. We want a Clean DREAM Act,” said Daysi Funes, board member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrants and Refugee Rights and a speaker at the rally.

As part of a deal to end a government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to take up the issue as Congress continues to work on a budget deal before a Feb. 8 deadline.

Photo at top: Organizations working for immigrants and refugees led the Rally to Defend Immigrants at Daley Plaza in Chicago. Jan. 17, 2018. (Eunice Wang/MEDILL)

Flesh-tone tights empower ballet dancers of color

By Eunice Wang
Medill Reports

A simple leotard and pink tights are the typical uniform for many ballet dancers when they train. It’s a tradition that dates back hundreds of years to the origin of ballet in Europe. As with many other traditions, however, the times, they are a changin’.

Dancers of color have started to raise a question about the tradition of pink tights, preferring tights that represent who they are. That’s why dancers at the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center have turned to flesh-tone tights.

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Hiplet: The Baby of Modern and Classical Ballet

By Eunice Wang
Medill Reports

Hiplet, the fusion of hip-hop and ballet, started back in 1990 as Homer Hans Bryant’s rap ballet. As a dance teacher, Homer has always been fascinated by classical ballet and what dancers can do en pointe. Homer wanted to give back to his community by teaching kids of color the discipline of ballet while incorporating urban rhythms and modern dance.

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Growing Home produces a bountiful harvest for Englewood residents

By Eunice Wang and Natalya Carrico
Medill Reports

Growing Home came to the South Side of Chicago in 2006 under the Englewood Quality of Life Plan. The organization offers a paid, 14-week job training program for adults with varying employment barriers. Approximately 30 percent of the program participants come from the greater Englewood neighborhood.

The farm stand at 5814 S. Wood is open Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October 26.

Photo at top: Water drop on a chard leaf in the Growing Home garden. (Eunice Wang/MEDILL)

Bucktown nail salon owner calls her business a “passionate hobby”

By Eunice Wang and Natalya Carrico
Medill Reports

Jacqueline Van, owner of Fantasy Nails, has been passionate about nail art since she worked at her parents’ nail salon in Michigan. Even while attending college, she had a part-time job at a salon. After she graduated, Jackie realized that she didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle all day long, that she was a people person. Now she pours all her love for nails into her own salon on North Avenue.

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