The UNITY Squad participants started a nutrition class with the University of Illinois. Youth are learning how to cook and prepare healthy snacks. They will participate in cooking classes and receive hands-on instruction from a nutrition instructor. In partnership with SkyArt, youth from both organizations are creating colleges on the duality of the mind, an activity where youth think about where they are presently and their future.
Beautification of Green Spaces
During the month of September, Claretian Associates hosted a beautification event at South Chicago Peoples Park. NeighborSpace and Chicago Cares coordinated the event with 25 other volunteers. Tall grasses and plants like hibiscus, purple mint flowers, and more perennials were planted. Learn more about the beautification event here.
Peoples Park received a trash cleanup as well. On a separate day, Greencorps Chicago contributed to the beautification of the park. Greencorps Chicago removed weeds, trimmed trees and bushes, and mowed the lawn. The beautification also involved cleaning up Pocket Park, a playground located at 3253 E. 91st Street.
City Civics Day
Are you a neighborhood leader? The Chicago Department of Housing is hosting City Civics Day, for neighborhood leaders to be more effective and be a bigger part of the decision-making process for local or citywide improvements. Learn more about City Civics Day and register here.
Oak Street Health hosted a bingo day for the seniors and provided a presentation on health care. The South Chicago SALUD Center seniors will have an annual Thanksgiving dinner provided by the Zuniga Family. Last year the Zuniga Family started the tradition of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the seniors, in honor of their daughter Mia who has autism.
Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Claretian Associates will host a Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 16 at the SALUD Center. A delicious meal of turkey, stuffing and other traditional sides will be served. The event is free, and all families are welcome. For more information contact Wendy Steward at email@example.com
Peloton Leaderboard Awards
Claretian Associates attended the Peloton on Tour, a new community celebration taking place in five cities and three countries. The event was an opportunity to celebrate the Chicago community and present the Leaderboard Awards. Chief Of Programs Tevonne Ellis was nominated and awarded as a Peloton Leaderboard Leader.
Tevonne was nominated through Peloton, and Tevonne recognized because of her leadership role in navigating Claretian’s relationship with Peloton. The award was unexpected, as Tevonne thought it was for the organization and their work with health and wellness. “I was surprised when I was nominated to be a Leaderboard Leader. I was very appreciative of the opportunity to represent, not only our organization but Peloton,” said Tevonne.
Tevonne was a spin instructor at the YMCA in Boston, Massachusetts. “It's an accomplishment for me because of my history as a spin instructor. Aligning my passion with work,” Tevonne. Tevonne owns a Peloton Spin Bike and is an active member of the Peloton Community.
In 2022, through a partnership with LISC Chicago, Claretian Associates was a recipient of Peloton equipment. Claretian Associates was the only nonprofit in the United States to be selected for the donation of equipment. “The greatest thing is having access to work out on this quality equipment. A lot of families in our area probably would not be able to own a Peloton. This adds to the top-of-the-line equipment that is available in the SALUD Fitness Center” said CEO Angela Hurlock.
New Real Estate Project Manager
Claretian Associates welcomes Marisol Miramontes as Real Estate Project Manager. “I’m excited to be back in the community where I grew up and give back where I was born and raised,” said Marisol.
As real estate project manager, Marisol will be overseeing building and community planned projects. Among the many real estate projects Marisol will be working on New Homes for Chicago, the development of SACRED (Sustainable Affordable Commercial Development), and renovations of the senior apartments from Villa Guadalupe. For the last 20 years, Marisol worked in the non-for-profit sector in community development. Marisol worked for Spanish Coalition for Housing, Resurrection Project, CEDA, Catholic Charities, and other community development organizations.
Marisol has a Bachelor's in Business and a Master's in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Marisol’s interest in urban planning and architecture was inspired by Daniel Burnham, and traveling nationally and internationally. Other inspirations for Marisol were different metropolitan areas, especially the Chicago Skyline. “It's amazing to me how things evolve. I like evolution, growth, and seeing the development and construction,” said Marisol. Marisol looks forward to working on the different projects. “I want my children to see things and say, ‘My mom was a part of that project,’” said Marisol.
Latino Policy Forum Graduation
Our Youth and Family Service Coordinator Pamesha Robinson graduated from Latino Policy Forum, Multicultural Leadership Academy (MLA) 2023 Cohort. Pamesha is the instructor for the UNITY Squad afterschool program, leads digital literacy classes, and most recently is a facilitator for Girls Who Code.
Pamesha applied for the MLA program and was selected to be a civic leader. “I wanted to get a deeper understanding of the word, leadership. Learning about myself helped me to be a better coworker, mentor, and even a better mother. Being a part of this cohort helped me to understand where I can add value and how to work on my leadership skills,” said Pamesha. During the six months, Pamesha attended three retreats to learn leadership, social and emotional skills, team building, and more. “We learned about ourselves and how to become the better version of ourselves. It was a great experience,” said Pamesha.
In MLA, Pamesha was a part of the restorative justice group. Pamesha and her group assisted with changing Bill 2073 in Congress. The change to the bill was to assist youth with retroactive sentences. It would allow youth to get out of jail earlier as opposed to having the duration of a life sentence. “What happens with youth that have life sentences? said Pamesha. The restorative justice group met with state senators and gave their input for the bill.
The MLA 2023 Cohort created a new tradition called, Passing of the Beads. During the first retreat, the cohort selected an individual who made everybody feel like family and understood leadership. Pamesha was one of the recipients of the Passing of the Beads. “It showed my growth in the program and what other people saw in me,” said Pamesha. After graduation, the beads were left with MLA for the next cohort.
Pamesha was celebrated by her colleagues, family, and the youth from the UNITY Squad. Pamesha always encourages the youth to take opportunities and grow in their education. Pamaesha is the third staff member from Claretian Associates to graduate from Latino Policy Forum MLA.
Haven’t signed up for a SALUD Fitness Center Membership yet? Sign up for our $14.99 monthly membership. Join the fitness center to have access to the weight and cardio room that includes Peloton spin bikes. Our expert fitness trainer is there to assist your new healthy lifestyle. For information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network will offer the last Chair Yoga class on Saturday November 4th at the SALUD Center from 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Chair. Register here. For more information contact Program Manager Tiarra Owens at email@example.com