Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Cabrini's Got Talent" for real!

Thank you to all of the performers and audience members who came out to the first ever Cabrini Connections Talent Show presented by the Youth Leadership Council on Saturday. All six members of the council worked the entire quarter to make their dream of this show a reality and it paid off... literally! $115.50 was raised from 32 attendees and will go towards the Council's next event (TBA).

After all of the performances were done, we had everyone vote on their top three and we said that the "winners" would be invited to perform at the Year-End Dinner. No one knew this beforehand or during the show because we didn't want it to feel like a competition.

The top three students are:
  1. Marquita Fisher & Dominique Curtis (poem)
  2. Mylana Williams (singing)
  3. Ana Tate (singing)
We would also like to invite Gabe Chapman (guitar) who was the highest vote-getter among the volunteers who performed. You can see all five of these performers live at the Year-End Dinner on Thursday, June 9th, at Cornerstone (1111 N Wells St).

GLC gives back

Hip hop artist GLC from Chicago visited Cabrini Connections on March 2nd, 2011 to speak about "love, life, and loyalty" - from growing up on the south side of Chicago to becoming a successful artist, working with legends, and winning two Grammies.
We all suffer losses and we take losses in our life, but from those losses we should just use those as motivation in order to win and become a winner and become successful, because if I did it, you definitely can. Church!
Previously: Rhymefest Gives Back

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm quoted in the Chicago Tribune!

You can read the article at either of these links:,0,3604457.story

It is about Project Cabrini Green which will light up the last high-rise building of Cabrini-Green beginning next week. In January, Cabrini Connections students took part in a public light art workshop with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They created stories and poems which, based on the rhythms of their recordings, were turned into blinking LED lights. Their lights will be among those placed in each of the 134 windows of the building.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Student Spotlight: Elisabet Ortiz

First year student Elisabet Ortiz was born in St. Anthony Hospital in Chicago on Mexican Independence Day (September 16th). She attends Lincoln Park High School where she is in the double honors program. Her favorite subject right now is chemistry but she understands the math component and she enjoys doing experiments. “I love playing with fire,” she says, literally.

Elisabet says school is important because, “I need to go to school to be what I want to be. I’d die if I didn’t go to school. You have to work for your long-term goals,” and she does just that! Elisabet’s goal is to graduate high school with a 4.5 GPA. She plans to join the military (noncombat) after school, come back and go to Harvard, get a Ph.D. in Law, become governor, and become the first female president of the United States!

Volunteer Spotlight: Natalie Durda

First year mentor Natalie Durda was born in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a southwest suburb of Minneapolis. “Things move a little bit slower [in Minnesota],” she says. “Everyone is really nice,” and even though it is north of Chicago, the winters are not as bad because it is not as windy.

In school she loved English, Spanish, and social studies, and, “Soccer was my sport.” Natalie’s parents instilled a strong work ethic in her, so she has always worked hard. She was already working 20 hours a week in high school!