The nice thing about the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards is that, with more than 1,000 community-oriented people in the room, you're almost guaranteed to make some good connections.
I was lucky enough to see Jean Carter-Hill, executive director of Imagine Englewood If, and she had some interesting news. Her organization is working with 31 students from local high schools on a journalism program led by Columbia College. The students are reporting and writing stories and getting ready for a trip to Washington, D.C., where they'll get an up-close look at the workings of Congress. Some of the students are involved with radio and video work, also.
I'm biased, but it seems to me that training young writers makes a whole lot of sense.
The other news from Jean was that she had been honored earlier that day at the Friends of the Parks Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon, for her work converting vacant lots into community gardens. The award went to individuals and organizations that have most significantly contributed to the improvement of Chicago's parks and forest preserves in 2007.