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Bears honor five local teenagers

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In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Bears and several community partners would like to recognize five Chicago teens who are making a difference in their neighborhoods.

Asia W. - Ogden International School

Asia was nominated by Target Area, an organization with which she has volunteered since she was eight years old. She has helped Target Area by surveying, phone-banking, distributing flyers and doing street-corner outreach. She has also written for the Target Area youth newsletter and spoken at community meetings. Additionally, she has worked with Voyce Chicago and is working to become a trainer for Know Your Rights.

Cameron C. - Leo High School

Cameron was nominated by his high school. He is an honor roll student and basketball standout and recently helped prepare Christmas gift baskets for South Side families in need, designing an effective system of distribution. He spent the summer at his high school distributing free meals for families suffering from COVID-19-related hardships.

Cortez D. - Michele Clark High School

Cortez was nominated by BUILD. He joined the organization's after-school programming as a sophomore and found a passion working in BUILD's Iris Garden. For the past three years, he has tended the garden in all seasons and trained others to work with the produce. He also helped the Iris Garden add a high-tech chicken coop and cared for 13 birds. A recent high school graduate, Cortez hopes to pursue a career in urban agriculture.

Keith T. - Steinmetz College Prep

Keith was nominated by By The Hand Club For Kids. Keith is a part of the inaugural cohort of Austin Harvest, a youth-led open-air market that provides fresh produce for the Austin neighborhood. Keith called his work with Austin Harvest "his first job" and believes that he can use his experience to pursue a career as an entrepreneur.

Simarah J. - Englewood STEM High School

Simarah was nominated by Youth Guidance. Simarah volunteers through her church at various community events. She helped paint murals in the Humboldt Park area for LGBTQ homeless youth. She is focused on creating a brighter future for those that have been cast aside by society.

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