Maywood’s ‘Best And Brightest’ Go To Washington; D89 Celebrates History And Wellness; New D209 Scholarship Program Announced; More

DC trip II

Youth delegates (left to right) Terrell Jenkins, Dominique Wallace, Anahi Soto, Marquan Jones and Noah Salazar pose with Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon (center with badge) during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. | Below: The delegates pose with Maywood’s Board of Trustees during a March 15 presentation on the experience. || Photo above submitted. Below: Michael Romain

dc trip meetingFriday, March 18, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

“Half of us had never been on a plane or even owned a suit before,” said Marquan Jones during a March 15 presentation before the Maywood Board of Trustees. Jones was before the board, along with four of his peers, to report on his experiences during a trip to Washington, D.C., earlier this month for the Congressional City Conference hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC).

According to NLC’s website, the program is part of the organization’s “continuing efforts to promote youth participation in local government.” Municipal officials are “encouraged to bring youth (ages 15-18 years old) with them to the Congressional City Conference as youth delegates.”

This was the first year that Maywood participated. The youths were the guests of first-term Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon. The 26-year-old local official said he raised upwards of $5,000 in private donations so the teenagers could tag along with him. Trustee Michael Rogers, who was also in Washington for the conference, dropped in on the group to see that “we were doing more than just eating at restaurants,” Brandon quipped.

“I had the opportunity to take some of the best and brightest individuals with me to Washington, D.C. to learn about ways to improve our [community],” Brandon said. “I am extremely proud of their dedication and commitment.”

The teenagers were hand-selected by officials at Proviso East and Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA). All of them had GPA’s well above 3.0.

Jones, a senior student-athlete who plans on attending Cornell in the fall, said his GPA is around 4.7. The Ivy League-bound Maywood native said he and his colleagues toured Howard University and George Washington University while in the nation’s capital. They also learned a bit about the process of governing.

“A lot of citizens just like to complain [but] we were able to bring back resources for how we can change the community,” said Jones, who noted that the youth delegates visited the offices of Rep. Danny K. Davis (7th), whose district spans Maywood and other western suburbs, and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R).

“It was interesting to see people who make the nation grow,” said Proviso East junior Noah Salazar, who is also a member of the school’s student council.

Junior Proviso East student Dominique Wallace, who maintains a 4.0 GPA and runs track, said her meeting with Melodee Colbert Kean — a councilmember in Joplin, Missouri and sitting president of the NLC — was life-changing.

“Her city was hit by a 200 mile-per-hour tornado that wiped out the city in less than 30 minutes,” Wallace recalled. “[Hundreds] of people were killed. Interacting with these different communities gave me a wakeup call … In order to get Maywood prosperous … we have to invest in our community and stop making excuses.”

The young people shared some of the ideas they took away from Washington. Terrell Jenkins, a senior at Proviso East who maintains a 3.6 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society and football team, advocated for strengthening the village’s youth council.

“Our youth is what will bring this great village of eternal light back into the light,” he said.

Anahi Soto, the youngest among the five delegates and a freshman at PMSA, recommended a series of grants the village could try applying for.

“These grants would help to increase the infrastructure for the businesses in Maywood as well as provide financial aid to help create more activities the youth could do so they can be occupied and off the streets,” she said.

But the focal point of the youths’ advocacy that night was extending the program that allowed some of them to experience flight and formal wear for the first time.

“For us to be able to do this is really life-changing and I hope this can be expanded in the future for generations to come,” said Jones. VFP

Safe Summer Program To Host First Planning Meeting March 31, 7 PM

Safe Summer logo II

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE] || We are going to have a phenomenal Safe Summer for our young people!  Once again, the village of Maywood Mayors office and Youth On The Move  are bringing together every youth-serving organization, including non-profits, faith based entities and other agencies, as well as members of the business community, to insure that our young people have a happy, healthy and safe summer.  We know that everyone is busy, so we are organizing three meetings — a couple planning sessions and a follow-up action meeting — before we implement the plan to keep our kids safe in Maywood.

We have the power to create the community we want – all it takes is simple planning – and we want you to be involved in creating a plan of action.  This is our 4th annual get together and every year we get bigger and better and serve more students from elementary school through high school. 

Summers present especially difficult challenges for our youths to navigate, and we want to be proactive in creating opportunities for growth and development, as well as collaboration and play.  So join us as we create the blueprint for this year’s Safe Summer.  We are meeting on March 31 at 7:00 pm in the Maywood Council Chambers located 125 South 5th Avenue.  Be active, be involved!  We’ll see you 

To confirm your attendance please contact the Mayors office at 708-450-4492.

Recalling Black History A Month Later: D89 And Triton Pair-up To Remember Past

D89 black history

District 89 students gather at Triton College last month for a final Black History Month celebration. Below: Students at a D89 school participate in a Black History Month celebration. || Photos submitted.

D89 black history II

[District 89] Black History was celebrated throughout the month of February in all District 89 schools. As a culmination to our month long celebration, a field trip to Triton College was organized for Middle School students. This exciting event hosted ‘Art Explosion’ featuring a Hip Hop Illusionist Jibrizy Magic, a performance by Sonita Surratt on Phyllis Wheatley, an African American poet during slavery, and the Phi Beta Sigma Step Team. Two hundred thirty Irving and Stevenson Middle School students had an opportunity to attend Triton College’s 2016 Black History Month Closing Program. District 89 values their partnership with Triton College.

District 89 To Host Health And Wellness Fair 

D89 headshot[District 89] Join us for Healthy Snacks and Raffles on March 22!

You are invited to the District 89 Health and Wellness Fair featuring Dr. Lori Shemek, pictured, Nutritionist and Author speaking on Health, Nutrition and Academic Achievement on Tuesday, March 22 at Washington Dual Language from 4:30 – 6:30 PM.  District 89 Partners in Health Care will be available, as well as Loyola Health and Wellness, University of Illinois Extension, Presence Health Care, Community Libraries and American Red Cross.

Join us for Healthy Snacks and Raffles!

New Scholarship Program Launched For District 209 Graduates 

Scholarship logos.png

209 Together, the organization dedicated to supporting and improving the Proviso High School District 209, has announced a partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Forest Park Foundation to provide scholarships for graduating students of the district.

The 209 Together Scholarship Programs – Overcoming Adversity and Persistence Pays – were established as a way for neighbors who support quality education in Proviso High School District 209 to give back to the kids graduating Proviso East, Proviso West and Proviso Math and Science Academy who are going on to 2 or 4 year college.

Connie Brown, a leader within 209 Together said “I believe investing in our children’s continued education is the most significant way to grow and strengthen our communities. When our communities come together to support the education of our youth, they are investing in young people who will return to our towns to become the future leaders, grow our local organizations and build our business districts. Imagine if everyone offered just $20 each to this scholarship – it would change the fabric of our township.”

Jerry Lordan, the Kiwanis Club of Forest Park Foundation Secretary observes, “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world for the better one child and one community at a time.  Kiwanis is very pleased to be a partner with our friends and neighbors to invest in our community’s most precious human resource, our youth. We are proud of our Proviso students and recognize that quality public education is the greatest change agent for the common good in American history.”

The program will be jointly administered by 209 Together and the Kiwanis Club of Forest Park Foundation. Tax-deductible contributions are currently being accepted through Fundly (click here). Checks may also be mailed to Kiwanis Club of Forest Park Foundation, P.O. Box 514, Forest Park, IL  60130.  Please include 209 Scholarship in the memo.

All students will be required to submit an application, transcript, 2 page essay and 1-3 letters of recommendation. There will be two scholarships awarded to graduates of each high school, each awarding up to $1,000 per student.

Overcoming Adversity will award students who demonstrate academic improvement over the course of their high school career, and Persistence Pays will award students who have demonstrated consistent academic excellence throughout their high school career.

All students will be required to write an essay, submit at least one letter of reference, submit their transcripts as well as complete an application by April 7, 2016. For more information or to receive a copy of the application send an email to

Bowl For A Cause During Athletic Konnection’s Third Annual Bowling Event On March 20 

Athletic Konnection Bowling

Two Easter Egg Hunts On March 26

Easter Egg Empowerment

Easter Egg AK

Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday At God’s Heritage Full Gospel Ministries 

God's Heritage

April Events And Programming At Maywood Public Library 

Maywood Library

What is a Financial Plan (and Why You Should Have One)

Herman Brunson of Balance Investments will visit the Maywood Public LibraryDistrict on Saturday, April 2nd, from 11:30-12:30 pm, to discuss the importance of having a financial plan. Financial plans are not limited to managing your income; they also help you to create goals in your life. Patrons are asked to RSVP at the Library’s Information Services Desk, or call the Library at 708-343-1847. Walk-ins will be allowed.

Concert at the Library

The Maywood Public Library District is hosting its first concert for 2016 on Saturday, April 9th, from 6:30-9:00 pm.  This concert will feature Rhythm and Blues.

Maywood Workforce Center: Summer Jobs

Now is the time to begin looking for a summer job.  TheMaywood Workforce Center will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Monday, April 11th, from 4:00-5:30 pm.  They will provide information about center services that are available for job seekers, and include an interactive workshop.  Additional take home materials will be provided to all attendees.

Buck-a-Bag Book Sale

A Buck-A-Bag Book Sale will take place at the Maywood Public Library District from April 6th until April 30th, unless the Library runs out of items before that time.  Each bag filled with hardcover or softcover books will only cost you $1.00. Bags for this sale will be supplied by the Library. For more information, please call 708-343-1847 x10.

Loyola Health Screenings

Loyola medical students will visit the Maywood Public Library District to perform health screenings for the community between 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm. This will include blood pressure checks, nutrition counseling, advice on how to quit or cut down on smoking, and chronic diseases. These events are free to the public, and will take place on Wednesdays, April 13th and 27th.

I-Cash: Discover What Unknown Money You May Have!

On Monday, April 25th, from 4:00-6:00 pm, I-Cash will visit the Maywood PublicLibrary District. I-Cash is a part of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division. Its purpose is to connect unclaimed assets with the residents of Illinois.  You can visit the I-Cash website at, or e-mail them

Social Security and You

On Thursday, April 28th, from 2:30-3:30 pm in room 202, there will be an information session on Social Security at the Maywood Public Library District. This presentation will include an explanation of what Social Security is, the role it plays in the lives of Americans, who is eligible, and its benefits.  Some of the benefits that will be discussed will include ones for retirement, children, disability, spouse, and veteran benefits. Light snacks will be provided. This presentation is free to the public.

Quilting: Step-By-Step Instruction

If you are interested in learning how to construct quilts, please leave your information for Mildred A. Green at the Library by calling 708-343-1847, and ask for Information Services. The Quilting class meets at the Maywood Public Library District on every Tuesday from 12:00 noon until 2:30 pm in rooms 201 and 202.

Instructions in Sewing

People who are interested in learning some of the basic skills involved in constructing clothing will want to take this free class in rooms 201 and 202 of the Maywood PublicLibrary District on Thursdays from 12:00 noon until 2:30 pm.  Space is limited. In order to begin taking classes, please leave your information for Mildred A. Green at 708-343-1847. VFP

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