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Michaela Reese 

8/17/14 

I love my neighborhood, and I feel like I am actually growing apart of it. My Neighborhood has both positive and negative things about it, and it is always room for improvement. Greater Grand Crossing is known to be a food desert, meaning there is little to no stores in the area for fresh food and vegetables and if it is a store in the area, it is a long trip on a CTA transit ride. Because of GGC being a food desert, it forces people in the community to go to the corner stores to get unhealthy food which increases the obesity rate. There is also a lot of violence within the community. Although the community has a lot of negative things within it, it also has a lot of positive things. For example, GGC has a youth center for the children to go to when they have nothing to do. The price for the whole school year is affordable as well, allowing children with low incomes able to attend the youth center as well.  

 My favorite sites in GGC are the youth center and the youth center’s garden. These are my favorite sites because both sites are either completely or mostly ran by teenagers. Both places teach children skills they will need in the future when they grow up. These sites also give back to the community by growing and donating fresh vegetables. I love this part about SSP. I love feeling like I have some power in changing the community of GGC in a positive way and improving people’s lives. I am doing this by having a Health Fair for my team’s project. On August 2nd, my team is having a health fair at Greater Grand Crossing’s library. In our health fair, we are covering all of the health topics the program listed for us. We are having local businesses donate and come out to talk about the different topics. Within this program, I’ve learned how to build connects with people. I also learned how to step back when I need to. When I say step back, I mean learn to let other people in my group voice be heard instead of mine. I am learning a lot from this program and I’m eager to learn more.

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