In walking the through the Woodlawn community, we observed many of the assets in our community and met some interesting community members along the way. One of the most interesting people we met is Shquestra from the YWCA. She is the Relationship Manager of Membership Experience at the YWCA and discussed her role in depth with us, as well as the many services and programs that the site offers. Her personality shined as “lively” and “real” when she shared some of her personal stories about meeting people and the importance of maintaining positive relationships. Her energy and dedication encouraged us to share her passion for social networking and doing community service for those in need. From her stories and personal background, we all connected to her emphasis on networking and being kind and respectful to everyone you interact with.

Another interesting community member that we encountered is Abdul Brimah, who is on the Board of Directors and Exhibitor Relations Director at the African International House within the Harris Chicago Park District. We appreciated Abdul’s passion for African culture and art and how he welcomed us into the exhibit. He is well-educated about all of the exhibits in the museum and shared the background and history of many of the artifacts, paintings, and portraits. Abdul shared some servicing opportunities with the African International House and we might revisit the site to help with gardening in the future.

This past week we did all of our asset mapping for the Woodlawn community and managed to finish our asset map. As a team, we categorized the assets into education, transportation, religion, beauty, services, recreation, and miscellaneous. To highlight a couple of our categories, places of services and recreational activity offered some interesting assets for community members. Woodlawn has health, social, and housing services in terms of health clinics, DHS, the YWCA, YMCA, and housing for low-income and elderly people. The gardens, parks, Coleman Chicago Public Library, Blues Historical Museum, Experimental Station, and Green Star Mural are just a few key sites of recreational activity that we added to our asset map.

We’re excited to start brainstorming for our health topic in order to really apply our knowledge of the work that we want to do in Woodlawn!!

-Team Woodlawn