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The South Chicago neighborhood, despite the issues it experiences, is vibrant with culture. From grocery stores to bakeries to ice cream shops, the food choices range from healthy to deliciously divulgent. For the most part, its residents are friendly and very open to greeting passersby. This is one aspect I really value, as it is not as present in my own community.

South Chicagoans seem to be very loyal to local businesses in the culinary field. Although there are several fast food chains in the area (30 in a one mile radius from the Chicago Family Health Center), family owned businesses still thrive. One place that I really fell in love with in the South Chicago neighborhood is the Mexican restaurant Cocula’s. I absolutely love the cozy architecture and comfortable feel that I experienced as my foot crossed the threshold. Don’t even get me started on how my first meal there literally falls into the top 5 out of all of the food I’ve had in my short sixteen years here on earth.

Speaking of my favorite places in South Chicago, I would be remiss if I failed to note New Sullivan. This school houses some of the best kids that I’ve ever worked with. They are respectful, yet enthusiastic little “nuggets” who made me look forward to coming to work on the days I knew Team SC would be visiting them. Thanks to Mrs. McCoy and Mr. Williams for their willingness to allow my teammates and I to interact with their students! Thanks also to Ashli, Nick, and Rachel for setting up this wonderful experience.

Ashli, Nick, and Rachel have been absolutely amazing in SSP. I have never felt disrespected by any one of them. They all answer my questions and are forever ready to guide me in the right direction. They represent the true definition of the word “mentor” in all of their individual uniqueness and approaches to situations. I also appreciate Jada, Salvador, and Asia. They are great to have on Team SC. We each have different personalities, but for some odd reason they mesh quite well together. Due to my team, I have learned about how to operate efficiently in new settings and practice professional interviewing skills. I have to be honest; I was a bit rusty in both of these areas at the beginning of SSP.

My progressing proficiency in the previously stated areas comes as a result of the demand that my team’s project places on them. Our project of creating a Peace Path has and does require me to speak to resident, workers, and politicians in the South Chicago neighborhood. I am very excited to beautify the space around the South Chicago Art Center’s community garden. My team and I are still working with our community partner to establish a final plan of “do-able” actions, but i am confident that everything will work out fantastically.