Today Show: Happiness Club, Windy City Hoops Cleaning Up Streets Of Chicago

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Today Show: After School Programs Fighting Back Against Youth Gang Violence

Every city has its parts where adults would be afraid to go to at night, but what about places children would be afraid to go to during the day? There are programs in Chicago happening now to try and fix this problem by cleaning up the streets of Chicago, one gymnasium at a time.

Today Show: Windy City Hoops Review

Today: Happiness Club, Windy City Hoops Cleaning Up Streets Of Chicago

Windy City Hoops provides a positive outlet for at-risk youth in Chicago.

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Too high a number of children is being lost in Chicago to gang violence, and with every kick, dunk, and score, youth programs in Chicago are making strides in making that number smaller. Before the children of Windy City Hoops even compete with each other athletically, they meet, greet, and write short stories about one another to form a personal bond. Creative writing and sports are coming together to make sure these kids don’t become statistics.

Some children in these programs know only too well just how gang violence can effect a family. An 11-year-old boy who was interviewed lost an older brother to gang violence.

Today Show: Happiness Club Creates Positive Friendships Among Children

Another program, Happiness Club, provides kids a safe sanctuary in which they can express themselves through dance. When they have to keep their guard up all day, coming to these oases of creativity allow them to let out the frustration and hopelessness that living in a violence-ridden neighborhood can foster. The strife they are surrounded by creates a burst of artistic expression that comes to the surface in a choreographed set of movements.

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Across eight violent neighborhoods in Chicago, Windy City Hoops gives kids a place to get themselves off the streets and nurture their competitive spirits. It creates a bond not just between kids, but between kids that aren’t looking to the streets for their future, but to doing something positive with their lives.

Desiree Rogers: Choose Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel chose former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, CEO of Ebony and Jet parent Johnson Publishing Co., as chairman of Choose Chicago, a non-profit task force designed to bring business and tourism to the city. Chicago is home to Desiree Rogers, and she loves the city because of its architecture, the people, and the culture.

One of Desiree Rogers’ biggest goals is to bring foreigners to the city every year to visit. She thinks that they have to get out there, and she wants to inform more people about the city so that people that might otherwise pass through many stop and see the sites of Chicago. There is an eclectic mix of neighborhoods, and she says that they have it all.

With President Obama being from Chicago, they think that are a lot of people are currently focused on the city, and Desiree wants to capitalize on that.

She thinks that some of the biggest priorities that any visitor should have when they visit the city is to have a steak or a hot dog.

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