Why ‘Girls Who Code’ is just for girls

A group of students at the Girls Who Code Club at UIC (credits: UIC)

By Lucia Maffei “You know, first prize is $10,000. It could be the first share of your college tuition.” The 10-something girl with a cat ear headband sits at a computer desk at DePaul University’s downtown campus.  Two friends of hers work side by side. It’s Saturday morning and every Saturday, Nancy and her friends […]

Who helps homeless “L” passengers?

By Harry Huggins Nicholas Saldana met Sarah Levine-Miles on the “L.” He might not have met her at all if it wasn’t so cold that morning last year. And without the chance meeting, Saldana might still be homeless. Saldana survived the cold by sleeping on the CTA Blue Line, riding it all the way from […]

Kids serve as translators for parents who speak little English

By Shanshan Wang Idalia Cervantes still recalls vividly when she accompanied her mother to the doctor as her interpreter at age seven. Not yet knowing the word “cough,” she faked several coughs to help describe the symptom. “I was learning English myself and I only knew a few words,” Cervantes said. Even though she was […]

MMA Fighters in Pakistan Battle Poverty While Inspiring Youth

By Michael Bacos LAHORE, PAKISTAN — Waquar Umar is part of Pakistan’s next generation of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters. He hopes to grow MMA’s fanbase and the next crop of fighters in his homeland. He trains fighters at Synergy MMA in the Defence Housing Authority neighborhood in Lahore, considered to be the birthplace of […]

Low interest rates should drive lower rents — But not in hot Chicago nieghborhoods

By Katie Murar The Federal Reserve backed away from an April rate hike, meaning there’s still time for consumers to take advantage of low borrowing costs. With the benchmark level for interest rates remaining between 0.25 and 0.5 percent, individuals can expect the cost of homeownership to stay low along with rental prices. But this […]

Chicago’s former addicts help addicts recover

chicago recovery alliance harm reduction staff

By Anna Boisseau It’s nearly 12:30 p.m. when a rushed young man drops by the Chicago Recovery Alliance’s parked silver truck in West Garfield Park. He’s turned away for HIV testing, but told to come back next week, but just a bit earlier. The truck can’t be late for its next stop in Austin. If […]

Rochester Hills residents fight to prevent oil and gas drilling in town

By Danielle Prieur Spring evenings in Rochester Hills, Michigan, have been the same for decades.  High school students move in a line in front of the glass windows of the gym. They practice their flag routine to the sound of whistles and the marching band that performs in the parking lot to their right. Their flags […]

Chicago State grad defies the odds amid Illinois budget crisis

Felix Grad Picture

By Branden Hampton When Felix Mitchell started his first semester at Kennedy-King College in 2014, he suddenly lost his job as a sales representative at Comcast. He received some financial aid, but was concerned about how he was going to survive without a job to pay for school. It was his second try at college. […]