Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

To see more about the principal that is changing the culture at Fenger High School see:

http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2014/03/05/chicagoland-principal-orig-series.cnn&hpt=hp_c2&from_homepage=yes&video_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F#/video/bestoftv/2014/03/05/chicagoland-principal-orig-series.cnn

Here are two organizations to remember if/when you are looking for help, especially on the South Side. The first organization is called is Sunshine Gospel Ministries. Find more information at:

http://www.sunshinegospel.org/

The second is Friends for Youth. While FFY is a citywide organization, it has an outreach on the South Side at 63rd and cottage Grove. Find out more at:

http://chicagofriendsforyouth.org/Mission.html

The 2013 Correctional Ministries Summit will be held at Wheaton College from May 30th to June 1st. This is a wonderful opportunity for those of us interested in working with gang members and other incarcerated youths to come together in search of more effective means of helping these youths. The Summit will help the participants in:

  • Developing professionally through informative workshops
  • Learning best practices from dynamic leaders in correctional ministry
  • Building relationships with others who share your ministry passion
  • Speaking meaningfully to the issues of mass incarceration

When: May 30 – June 1, 2013
(Thursday evening – Saturday lunch)
Where: Wheaton College, IL

For additional information please go to the website:

http://www.cmcainternational.org/

You hear the daily stores about youth and gang-related shootings in Chicago and your mind begins to dull. You watch the rising death count and  you lose hope. You experience frustration and a sense that there is nothing you can do to make a difference in a world such as this. Yet, there IS something that YOU can do. I recently attended a meeting at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. Young men up to 16 come through the doors of the Detention Center every day, some arriving and many departing. For those that are leaving incarceration, there is a harsh world awaiting them. Most will return to the Detention Center at east once, and most will graduate on the Cook County Jail in only a very short period of time. They swiftly move from petty infractions to major crimes that land them in jail with hardened criminals. In this way the ranks of the gangs and criminal elements are reinforced by a system overwhelmed with the mandate to teach and mentor these young men, but underwhelmed by volunteers and teachers. The Juvenile Detention Center is meant to be not so much a place of punishment as it is a place of restoration and second chances. At this point in time, these young people still have a chance to turn their lives around, to make something of themselves. Once they leave and graduate to Cook County Jail, however, that chance is usually lost forever. That’s why this is such an important time, and that’s where YOU come in. The Good News Prison and Jail Ministry that oversees ministry to these kids is in dire need of people who can serve as mentors and work to bring after-Care to the young men released from the juvenile Center. You could be one of those people, a mentor who helps the releasee to center his focus and work through the difficulties that face every young person, but which impacts those who have been detained even more. YOU can help mentor a young person and provide them with hope that they can make it, they can overcome the odds, and they can make a difference themselves. If you would be interested in finding out more about Good News Prison and Jail Ministry, go to their website at:

http://www.goodnewsjail.org/

The ministry to youths in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center is directed by Arthur Killingsworth. His e-mail address is:

arthur.killingsworth@goodnewsjail.org

His Office Telephone Number is:  (312) 433-7124

Also feel free to contact this website for more information

Ron

A Willow Creek Jail and Prison Ministry:

                                     Hebrews 13:3

“Don’t forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.”

http://prisonandjailministryconnection.blogspot.com/.v

You a banger? This is a story about another banger that made it. This is about Victor Rios, but it could be you. God has a plan for you too. Just let him have his way in your life. Read more about Victor at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReQar2BTlKY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvQzDzBIGR4    (in Spanish)

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/american-graduate/jan-june12/victor_rios.html

Several informative books on Chicago gangs can be found at:

http://www.ngcrc.com/ngcrc/page4.htm

Gangs are active on many fronts, each of which has different levels of gang involvement and needs different approaches for successful crime and violence reduction. Gangs are active on the streets, in the prisons, and in schools. They have infiltrated politics and criminal justice fields. This report discusses all of these areas. It’s the latest book on Chicago’s gangs.  Loaded with information. Find it at:

https://www.chicagocrimecommission.org/ItemParent.aspx?id=14

This is a great website for those who want to know more about the gang lifestyle and how to resist it as an individual and as a community. The site is based in the Washington DC/Virginia area but has links that are valuable to those confronted by the gang culture nationwide. For more information go to :

http://hidtagangs.org/

This site will also allow you to get a free download of Henry Pachero’s book  Gangs 101: Understanding the Culture of Youth Violence. Here is the link:

http://hidtagangs.org/Downloads/Prevention/Gangs%20101%20-%20Understanding%20the%20Culture%20of%20Youth%20Violence.pdf

An inspiring article about one family and the intersection of gangs and sports in Compton’s Dominguez HS, Los Angeles. See more at:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1192636/1/index.htm.

Some of you may be wondering the same thing, How do I get out of a gang? If you didn’t know who to ask or were to scared to ask, here is an answer that might help. Find it at:

http://www.streetgangstyle.com/street_gangs/street-gang-articles/gang-2/

If you want to find out what Gangbangers are talking about, go to Hoodup.com and sign up for an account. Lots of bragging, history, and information (along with a fair amount of misinformation), but its interesting, to say the least.  Caution: This site might be a little raw for some of you!

 

today’s Dear Abby

HOMEBOY IN JAIL SAYS GANG

IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR FAMILY

 

 

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 16-year-old gangbanger looking at spending the rest of my life isolated in a little bird cage. Every day I ask myself the same question. Was it really worth throwing my life away? All I did was help a “homeboy” from getting hurt. I got caught and was convicted on eight charges that led to more than four consecutive life sentences. That ain’t no joke! The sad part of it is that the so-called homeboy turned his back on me when I needed him most. I should’ve pulled away when I could’ve.

The main reason for this letter is to help parents and teens like myself who are choosing the wrong path to realize what you’re getting into while there is still time. Tell parents out there, if you see your kid is messing up in school, using drugs, hanging with the wrong crowd, anything that would lead to gang affiliation, reach out and help them while you still can before they’re in too deep. They (teens) turn toward gang life in search of the love they need from their family. Or they want to fit in and be cool.

To all the gangbangers who think you’re cool and being a gangster, get away from it while you still can. It may be fun at the moment, but it’s not when you get caught and you have to spend the rest of your life behind bars. There’s better things to do in life than hang around all day frying your brain from all the drugs and alcohol. Trust me, when you’re behind bars thinking about what you did, you’ll be missing your family the most. You think your homeboys are going to be there for you? Well, let me tell you this … they’re not! I guarantee you that the only people who are actually willing to change places with you are your parents. Your real family. Do you think your homeboys want to do time for you? Hell, no!

I hope this letter helps some people out there. I just want to make a contribution to society before I get locked up in the dungeon forever. This is to show you not all gangbangers are evil and cruel. Life is short. Live it smart, not stupid. Now I can finally answer the question I ask myself, “Was it all worth it?” The money, the girls and all the material things go faster than you think and could all be taken away with the snap of a finger from the split second of a decision you make. It’s not worth your life. — HOMESICK HOMEBOY

* * *

DEAR HOMESICK: You write well and your letter contains a powerful message. I’m printing it without editing. Let your experience be a warning to others. I hope from the sad circumstances of your life some other young person will realize that a gang is a poor substitute for a family and the path to success does not stop at the street corner.

If a troubled young person is in school, he or she should talk to a counselor. If there is a church nearby, talk to a priest or minister. There are alternatives to joining a gang, but you need to reach out.


May the joy and peace that surpasses all understanding, that comes from faith in the resurrected Christ, touch and fill you.  Remember YOU may be the only contact the people in YOUR life will have with the Love of our Lord Jesus this day.

OK, this is how I want you to think about responding to this post. Think about the world and all the goals you’ve set for yourself. What do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish). Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing in five years?  Write it down. Do you think that the goals, hopes, and/or dreams you’ve just jotted down are possible?  Want to have a car, home, job, wife, or kids? Do you want to have a chance to get a better education or do some travelling? Want to help some other people who are down and out too?  Well, let me tell you this, God puts those dreams in your head, and if God puts those dreams there, it’s because he wants to fulfil those dreams. Not only that, he is able to fulfill them, and much more. If you are a Christian, you worship a God is bigger than anything you can imagine. He is the God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20). OK, here’s the kicker. Remember all those goals and dreams you just jotted down? Well God wants to do a lot more than you thought about just then.

A few years ago, I met Anthony.  He was a Spanish Lord from Humboldt Park that I had written to while he was incarcerated in Logan Correctional Center.  Those letters led to us getting together to talk after his release. When we first met, Anthony was sleeping on a backroom floor in another Gs apartment. He didn’t have a whole lot to look forward to at that moment in time.  I remember in one of our first talks, I asked him about what he wanted out of  life. He mentioned that he’d like to have an apartment of his own some day, maybe get his driver’s licence and eventually buy a car. That way, he could drive around the hood and help people he saw in need of help. Well, that was a nice vision, but way too small. Anthony eventually committed his life to Jesus and good things began to happen. Anthony now has an apartment he shares with Amanda and his son Vincent. A second child, a little girl, is on the way! Anthony works 50-60 hours a week and not only has a car, but also has use of a company car. He certainly helps old friends from the hood, but has also traveled to Turkey and Nicaragua. In Turkey he helped on an archaeological excavation and in Nicaragua he worked with the poor and destitute.  God has given Anthony way more than he imagined just two years ago as we sat and talked. On top of that, he’s only 22, so can you imagine what God has in store for him the next 60 years of his life? Way more than he or I can begin to image right now. That prospect is very exciting.

Now translate Anthony’s experience into your life. Go ahead, think about it. God wants to do the same thing for you that he did for Anthony. If you think about the dreams you wrote down and think about how God has expanded Anthony’s vision, you might be able to get an idea of what God will do in YOUR life. The message I want to leave you with here is to think big and never underestimate what God can do in your life. He is the creator of the universe and in control of all things. His ability to do more than you can think or imagine is beyond doubt and displayed in the lives of believers all over the world! So sit down, write down, kneel down, and look up. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God just waiting to expand your horizons and do more in your life than you can ever imagine. Are you game?

“WUSSUP,THIS IS TEARDR0PzZ.AND I W0ULD LIKE 2 SAY A LIL SUMTHIN B0UT ALL THIS GANG STUFF,AIIGHT 2 ALL THE Y0UNGSTERS WH0 READ THIS,D0NT GET INT0 A GANG T0 THINK THAT Y0U WILL FIT IN 0R ITS C00L 0R WUTEVER.LIVEIN THE LIFE I LIVE N SHIT IM N0T G0ING T0 LIE T0 Y0U GUYS ARIIGHT IMMA KEEP IT REAL!ITzZ ALL CRAzZY AND FUN!BUT!!ITzZ DANGER0US AND I W0ULD NEVER REC0MEND S0ME0NE T0 GET INT0 THE GANG LIFE.I SIT N THINK S0METIMES LIKE “WTF AM I D0ING!”.Y0U WILL L0zZE L0VED 0NEzZ..TRUST ME….I’V BEEN THERE AND IT AINT C00!I THINK ALL THE Y0UNGSTERS SH0ULD GET THEIR EDUCATI0N AND D0 G00D..BECAUSE 0NCE Y0U ARE KN0WN AS A GANG GANGER THERE AINT N0 RURNING BACK!Y0U WILL ALWAYzZ BE KN0WN AS A GNG BANGER AND I D0NT THINK ENY 0F Y0U WANT THAT..ITS T00 LATE F0R ME 2 TURN BACK N THERES DAYzZ I STRAIGHT UP REGRET EVERYTHING….S0 JUST STAY AWAY FR0M THE GANG LIFE AND JUST GET AN EDUCATI0N N D0 WUT U G0TTA D0!”

This very poignant note about living the gang lifestyle (and a whole lot more) can be found at:

http://www.streetgangstyle.com/street_gangs/street-gang-articles/gangster-quotes/