As part of the One Book One Northwestern program, new students were invited to participate in a day out in the greater Chicagoland area. The book that we were asked to read this year explored the various neighborhoods of Chicago.
On a whim, I decided to take this chance — 7 hours away from my academics — to take a look at what there is to offer in Chicago. And I am so glad that I did. The group I was placed in went to Fuller Park, in the southern part of Chicago. The topic of our adventure today was Leadership and Community Development. In this, we visited a place called Eden Place, where it is an oasis within the city. Fuller Park is bordered by the highway and a newly built train wall.
Driving through the city, I noticed how rundown the place was. It is so different to be in a less fortunate community. The community is in need of further development and much help. This has been a truly humbling experience, to be able to see a less fortunate part of Chicago, to know that there is so much of a disparity even within Evanston and the greater Chicago area.
But more than that, today was a day of learning and self discovery. More than anything, it has been a chance to learn about the city that I am going to be calling my home for the next two years, or maybe even more.
I spent the day in a small community in Southern Chicago. I got to meet some amazing professors and a prominent leader in the Fuller Park community. Things can be rough, but sometimes the brightest diamonds are the ones found in the roughest of areas.
Here are some pictures to share from my day, though:
Animals raised at Eden Place: