Steans Center > For Students > Service Speaks > CSS Scholar Profiles
Demitria, a former CSS Scholar, is also a recent alumna who works at the
Egan Office for Urban Education & Community Partnerships.
“I tutored through the Egan Center for two years. [It’s] a space where I get to work with kids–mostly middle schoolers. We’re not just tutoring, we're also a part of the communities: School and community go together,” the Steans Meister Scholarship recipient says.
“Some days I wish I could only do community work. Just wake up, work with kids and organize. I’m from the South Side of Chicago; I grew up with a single mom: I really relate to the students I'm working with. I would love it if I were to do grad school at DePaul to come back to the Egan Center. Before COVID-19 really hit, I’d have lunch with students once a week and they’d have questions about sexuality, gender orientation, and health so I want a space where they could feel comfortable.”
Service work is anything but novel to Owona, as her interest in volunteering sparked in elementary school carried on through high school and into her junior year of college where she worked with Lakeview Pantry.
“The main role I take on is personal shopper. It’s where you get assigned a person to be with and you walk them through all the different grocery products that they can have.
With COVID-19: “I’ve been over there a few times during this whole thing. They just have a lot more people that need food...they don’t really allow anyone inside anymore. They [residents] also can’t be as picky; they get a random box of food.”
"Coming from St. Louis, Chicago brings a different perspective when volunteering. Unfortunately, there’s such a divide in who gets what resources...there are a lot of communities that need help and that’s what I’ve liked about volunteering at a few different places. It’s sometimes very sad and depressing. It’s offered a lot of reflection and the ability to think about how we can connect with people.”
Julia works with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
“I think it’s hard to do work like this...in addition to all of these other responsibilities like school and work but it’s the most important work that I feel like I do.
“I try to tweet every day off of the Alliance’s page and we’re making a film to gather people who are on the fringes of being involved in a movement but aren’t plugged into an organization. We’ve been putting together content for this event for a while and we’re able to further use COVID-19 to address the situation [of prisoners incarcerated during the pandemic].”
Free Them All is a campaign to free incarcerated survivors of police torture organized by the Chicago Alliance. The two-hour long campaign released in May 2020 and can be found on the Chicago Alliance facebook page.