Wonderful Changes


Working with teenage youth typically is not the easiest task, especially when youth is labeled with negative stereotypes because of the neighborhood they live in.  I've been working at the Westside Youth Tech Entrepreneur Center for over a year now and it is in one of the most underserved communities in Chicago.  These teenagers have been labeled as misfits who are destined for one of the many prisions in Illinois; however, there is a negative misconception about the teenagers on the Westside of Chicago, because all of them are not casting black shadows on their community.

I have youth here who are creating music videos using Vegas.  I have youth here who are developing mixtapes using professional grade studio equipment and marketing their music.  There is one teen here who is developing a video game using software I can't seem to figure out.  The ideas are constantly flowing through these young teens and is trickling down to the even younger children who look at these teenagers as sources for more knowlege.  They look at situations and circumstances from a different perspective, a more positive one than most who visit their community do. 

I am witnessing a wonderful change within the minds of the youth here at WYTEC; youth who will one day grow to become the politicians, business owners, and community leaders who will change the stigma of the Westside of Chicago being the worst place in Illinois to be.  I am glad that through the VISTA program, I have been given the opportunity to work with these youth.  I am honored that I have inspired some of these youth to learn new technologies and develop their inner talents.  I await the day when the Garfield Park community is transformed into one of the best, not worst, neighborhoods to visit.