General Interest

GoFundMe is Chicago teacher’s go-to when classroom needs supplies

By Angel Idowu

With limited funding, classrooms at some charter schools like Gary Comer College Prep are unable to provide students with basic supplies. Frustrated, English teacher Brittany Maddox decided to create a GoFundMe page, where she raised $500 to supply her middle-school class with needed books.

“For me, teaching is about helping students realize their fullest potential,” Maddox said. On National Teacher Appreciation Day, her students took some time to reflect on her impact.

Photo at top: Maddox’s students are eager to answer questions about Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” a book she supplied after raising money on a GoFundMe page.(Angel Idowu/MEDILL)

Job outlook at a 10-year high for college seniors

By Grace Austin

A stronger economy means a better job outlook for graduating college seniors and grad students in Chicago, experts say.

According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, employers hiring recent college graduates this year say those with business, engineering, and computer and information sciences degrees are seeing the highest demand.

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Women traders carve path in male-dominated industry

By Shen Lu

Trading has always been a male-dominated industry, but some women have made a career out of it.

When Roma Colwell-Steinke, instructor at the Chicago Board Options Exchange Options Institute, started on the CBOE trading floor in 1991, she was one of the four females among 1,000 traders in the derivatives pits.

Colwell-Steinke began her career as a trader in 1985 on the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. She then traded on the CBOE for 11 years after moving to Chicago in 1990.

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Job-seekers flock to Rogers Park job fair

By Stephanie Rothman

The national unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, but there is still a need for more jobs in communities throughout Chicago.

Ald. Joseph Moore, 49th Ward, and the city of Chicago hosted the third annual Job Fair and Employment Resource Workshop in Rogers Park this week. Some 40 companies gave information to job seekers, who attended the fair for free.

Photo at top: Employers talk to Chicago residents at a Rogers Park job fair, hosted by the city of Chicago. (Rothman/MEDILL)

Robot Revolution comes to Chicago

By Alissa Anderegg

Last week, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) unveiled its latest exhibit, Robot Revolution. The national touring exhibit features 40 robots from around the world—including Japan, Poland, Denmark, Germany, China, Canada, South Korea and across the United States. Visitors of all ages can interact with the robots, which are divided into different aspects of robotics: cooperation, skills, smarts and location.

The exhibit also aims to increase student interest and involvement in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields through hands-on interaction with the robots on display. Robot Revolution will run now through February 4, 2018.

Photo at top: RoboThesbian, a life-sized humanoid robot, greets visitors as they enter The Museum of Science and Industry’s latest exhibit, Robot Revolution.(Alissa Anderegg/MEDILL)

Buckingham Fountain: Own a Piece of History

By Mike Davis

Buckingham Fountain is turned on for the season and Chicagoans are celebrating the monument’s 90th anniversary. But that’s not the only excitement surrounding the fountain.

Stuart Grannen, an antiques dealer and owner of Architectural Artifacts Inc. in Ravenswood, is selling the thousand-pound piece of Georgia Green Marble for $22,000.

Grannen said he acquired the historic piece years ago from a descendant of Edward H. Bennett, the architect of Buckingham Fountain. He originally wanted the piece for a museum he was building but the venture fell through.

Now, he’d like to see the piece of history find a good home, preferably in Chicago.

Photo at top: The historic piece of Buckingham Fountain, newly for sale. (Mike Davis/MEDILL)

Chicago River enthusiasts take a group photo to focus on conservation

By Allie Burger

April is Overflow Action Month on the Chicago River. Because of how the city’s sewer system was designed, sewage can enter the river during heavy rains when the drains overflow.

To promote awareness of the issue, and to encourage water conservation, Friends of the Chicago River invited residents to “photobomb” the river.

Photo at top: The event included almost 200 participants downtown. (Friends of the Chicago River)

“Odysseo” combines equestrian and acrobatic skills in Chicago run

By Peter Jones

Sam Alvarez is one of 48 human cast members in the world’s largest touring production. A trained aerialist and coach, Alvarez works alongside 65 horses in “Odysseo,” which has been produced by the Montreal-based company Cavalia since 2011.

More than two million people in Canada, the United States and Mexico have seen the show so far, according to Cavalia. “Odysseo” began its run in Chicago April 1 and will run through May 21.

Photo at top: Sam Alvarez, an aerialist and coach for “Odysseo,” shows off his acrobatic skills. (Peter Jones/MEDILL)

Uptown summit brings together stakeholders in changing neighborhood

By Grace Austin

Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood faces challenges ranging from gang violence and homelessness to gentrification.

At the historic North Side neighborhood’s annual summit, State of Uptown, business owners, residents and local aldermen discussed how to maintain Uptown’s diversity and charm amid rapid development.

Photo at top: A mural by the “L” tracks shows the diversity of people and culture in Uptown. (Grace Austin/MEDILL)

Chicago independent booksellers join forces against Amazon

By Shen Lu

The arrival of Amazon’s new brick-and-mortar bookstore in Chicago has brought local independent booksellers together.

The Chicagoland Independent Bookstore Alliance is promoting a network of 24 bookstores, including feminist bookstore Women & Children First in Andersonville. Initial results of a recent marketing promotion have been positive, according to Lynn Mooney, co-owner.

The coalition hopes such efforts will attract more loyal customers who value a community bookstore with personalized service.

Photo at top: Women & Children First Bookstore has been in business in Chicago since 1979. (Shen Lu/MEDILL)