Latino Organization of the Southwest Offers Ray of Hope Amid Youth Violence

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsTeens of A-STRONG-U, a violence prevention program, shared their stories of how the program significantly impacted their lives during a gathering at Holy Cross Hospital last Tuesday. Eighty or so youth, along with their family members, were joined by Honorable State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3rd District), representatives from Chicago Area Project, staff members from Latino Organization of the Southwest (LOS), and community resident and mentor Diana Perez.

The event began with an address to the youth by Chicago’s Southwest native, Diana Perez. Perez, a Loyola Law graduate, spoke about the importance of education. “It’s an investment,” said Perez. She continued to encourage youth to remain in school and complete a higher educational degree. Perez works with LOS in providing consultation to community residents on immigration issues. “We have a social responsibility to give back to the community.”

Sen. Hunter began her address impressed with the many adults accompanying their children. The Hon. Senator Hunter highlighted the power of community. “Without your family and your community you have nothing,” Hon. Senator Hunter stated to a packed audience. “Coming together, supporting and helping one another, we can make a difference in our lives, in our community, in our families lives.”

LOS is a not-for-profit, community based organization that was founded in 1992 by a core group of immigrant individuals and is currently the only indigenous Latino organization on the Southwest side of Chicago. LOS grew out of a need to address economic, education, social and political issues affecting the Latino community.

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