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Featured Community Partners


Julian J. Champion, Executive Director of Fresh Moves
Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market will take the full force of its Mobile Market fleet (Fresh Mover #1 & #2) to our community partner Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center. Executive Director, Julian J. Champion, will address Metropolitan Family Services’ staff about the work of Fresh Moves and ways that the two entities can work together to address some of the serious needs in "food deserts" like Roseland. Currently, Fresh Moves makes produce bus stops at Kennedy King College, Olive Harvey and South Chicago Learning Center to provide their services to the community and students. The Metropolitan staff, clients and community residents will be introduced to the mobile markets - many for the first time. All will be invited to shop for healthy, life giving food! 

Audrena Spence, Exectuive Director of Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center

 Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center is comprised of 141 full- and part-time staff that served 11,650 clients in fiscal year 2012. Metropolitan Family Services is a human service leader that is dedicated to strengthening low income, Chicago-area families. Families are the heart of our strong communities, and Metropolitan Family Services invests in services to help them reach their full potential.Our services include: Education; Economic Stability; Emotional Wellness; and Empowerment. Audrena Spence, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center is upbeat and hopeful about the Fresh Moves partnership. “We believe this is an innovative solution to food deserts, and a unique way to improve and encourage healthy eating habits.”​  Currently, Olive Harvey College and Kennedy King College are in partenrship with Metropolitan Family Services to provide Adult Literacy and GED classes. These classes are offered in Woodlawn, Trumbull Park and Roseland serving clients educational needs. Additional resources are available on the main campuses as a courtesy to our students; such services inlcude on campus tutors, computer access, library resources and more. 

Julia K. Aren, Major of Salvation Army Chicago Northside ARC      

Salvation Army Chicago Northside is an Adult Education community partner with Wright College.  Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center helps facilitate long-term recovery from substance abuse while preparing guests for successful re-entry into the community.  Through the partnership with Wright College, GED classes are offered at the rehabilitation facility, giving many guests greater re-entry opportunities at the conclusion of their treatment.       

During Fall 2012, six of the recent GED students from Salvation Army started in the Gateway Program to continue their studies at Wright College.  The Gateway Program offers support to students as they transition to college credit and career programs at the City Colleges of Chicago.  The importance of the Adult Education partnership between Salvation Army and Wright College is particularly impactful when one reflects on the challenging circumstances faced by guests at the beginning of their rehabilitation program.         

Wright College is thankful for the opportunity to work in collaboration with Salvation Army.  This partnership epitomizes the importance of strategic community relations to support the mission of City Colleges of Chicago.          


Dr. Maureen Hellwig, Senior Director of Programs and Quality Assurance         
Erie Neighborhood House                 

Dr. Maureen Hellwig, is the Senior Director of Programs and Quality Assurance at Erie Neighborhood House. Maureen Hellwig took on this ro​le - the latest of many at Erie House - in March 2006. Throughout her career, Maureen has worked on issues including community access to technology, housing and financial cooperatives, workforce preparation, neighborhood commercial area revitalization, community empowerment through neighborhood organization, and the role of settlement houses as community change agents.          

Dr. Hellwig has worked tirelessly the last several years advocating for the rights of all immigrants in Chicago and ensuring that they have access to programs and opportunities through City Colleges Chicago. Recently, as a lead member of the Equal Voices Coalition, a collaborative of community groups engaged in social justice issues, she has played a major role in the planning, development, and implementation of City Colleges Chicago Reinvention Community Collaborators Group.          

Dr. Sokoni Karanja, Founding Director
Chicago's Center for New Horizons
Dr. Sokoni Karanja is the founding director Chicago's Center for New Horizons, a non-profit agency has 22 sites and serves over 2000 families, offers many services, including early childhood education, childcare, senior care, employment programs and leadership training. He has decades of experience of community building leadership. As a leader in the African-American community, he has been steadfast in his commitment to assist residents in achieving self-reliance, despite increasing demand and shrinking resources. 

Dr. Karanja is a national leader on child development issues and sits on a number of national and local Advisory Committees, Task Forces, and Consortia. This work enables him to work towards ensuring that all families have access to jobs, child care, job training, and workforce services. Additionally, Dr. Karanja has been a leading advocate for the Equal Voices Coalition. He plays a significant role in the City Colleges Reinvention as a member of the Advisory Council and Community Collaborators Group.
Juan Salgado, Executive Director           
Instituto del Progreso Latino           
Recognized as a leading city and state educational center serving more than 14,000 participants, Instituo del Progreso Latino helps residents advance in a number of different areas including workforce development, adult education, youth education and development, and citizenship preparation.          
Specifically, the organization assists citizens in achieving their basic academic skills, obtain a high school diploma, pass the GED examination, become U.S. citizens, and increase their job skills so that they can find employment. In addition, Instituto del Progreso Latino partners with the CCC on a health care bridge program, Carreras en Salud, which is established to bridge limited English-proficient individuals into licensed practical nursing positions.          
This partnership – between Instituto del Progreso Latino, Association House of Chicago, Humboldt Park Vocational Center at Wilbur Wright College and the National Council of La Raza – offers seven levels at which students can enroll. Each level is designed to be completed in 16 weeks. Since its inception in 2005, more than 700 students have enrolled in the program.     ​   

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