Something Good In Englewood was an important resource hub for families in Englewood long before it became official in 2018. The community-based organization grew out of Little Angels Learning Center, an early learning facility, because families needed additional resources and services. A variety of educational programs and supportive services are offered, such as financial literacy and computer literacy resources, mental health services and employment services, with the goal of increasing socio-economic opportunities for Englewood residents at critical ages.
“We know what the narrative is around Englewood, but we believe that we are high potential, not high risk. We are something good in Englewood and we want that to be amplified,” said Nashone Greer-Adams, a founding member.
During the summer of 2021, Something Good in Englewood received a generous grant to fund its summer youth program from Teamwork Englewood, a grantee of the McCormick Foundation.
The grant opportunity arrived at the right time as children were excited to return to in-person summer activities after a long year of remote learning. With the grant, the organization was able to buy its own bus to transport its youth participants and provide youth leaders with a stipend.
“We were able to give the youth leaders a salary based on the generous contribution from Teamwork Englewood, but we also have education in place to teach them how to budget, how to save and what a checking account is. We try our best to service not only the youth, but the entire family,” said Justin Morgan, Director of Operations, about the organization’s wraparound service approach. Three cohorts of kids and their parents participated in a five-week financial literacy curriculum and were compensated for participating in the calls every week.
As luck would have it, Iris Perez, a summer camp program manager, found the bus for sale on Facebook within their budget, in great condition and it was just the right size. “We took them to different areas of Chicago to teach them about different cultures, like Chinatown, Little Village, downtown and even the zoo,” said Iris.
Prior to buying the bus, the team relied on CTA trains and buses and borrowed transportation. “This was maybe our fourth year organizing the summer camp program and we’ve been doing it with pennies, just with hopes and dreams. We’ve come a long way from taking the bus and the train to give these kids a long-lasting experience. Now we have our very own bus, thanks to Teamwork Englewood and everyone involved. We are so blessed to be able to continue our efforts in a safe way,” said Justin.
“We were blessed this summer. This is truly a part of our safe haven’s process of keeping our children busy and engaged during the summer. That’s one of the ways we feel we were able to be a part of reducing gun violence in our communities. They weren’t at home, they weren’t sitting on the porches, they weren’t walking back and forth to the store. If solid nurturing resource systems are in place, that can make a huge difference. That’s one of my driving forces.”Nashone Greer-Adams