Bringing the community to HOODS
It was an exciting morning in the Television Department on Wednesday (12/7) as buzz spread around the building of a certain local “celebrity” who was just moments from making his appearance. The student produced TV show “HOODS” would be taping a segment all about Logan Square and who better to interview than local shop owners and …..an Alderman. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we had Alderman Rey Colon of the 35th Ward. “Are you nervous?” a student asked Hope England, host of HOODS, a few minutes before it was time to start the interview. She fluffed up her hair looked right at the camera, shook her head and said she was looking forward to this.
Who wouldn’t be excited to interview this man, not only was there plenty of things to ask and talk to him about but Alderman Colon was once a student here at Columbia College Chicago. He was attending school originally to major in Radio Broadcast, an unlikely beginning considering his career now but even back then he was thinking of how he could make a difference in his community. He knew radio played an influential role in kids and young adults lives and that’s how he wanted to be able to reach out to them. He began becoming heavily involved with the Boys and Girls Club because it was an outlet for these kids and made a positive impact on their lives. His resume runs deep from an Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club, to the Executive Director of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and even dealing with the Chicago Park District and is inspiring. Alderman Colon said he never expected his life would turn out the way it has and find such an immense joy in devoting his time to the community, not only that but he never would’ve thought that he would be elected for office. His first attempt at running came in 1999 and although he did not win, he still won an impressive 40% of the votes. Only a few years later in 2003 Alderman Rey Colon ran again and this time came out on top, winning 60% of the votes. It was even quoted in the Chicago Tribune as "the end-result was an historic electoral upset that shattered the status quo."
The whole purpose of Alderman Colon’s arrival was for him to enlighten all our viewers of HOODS on the up and coming town of Logan Square. When asked by Hope England what are some of the unique characteristics that set this neighborhood apart from others in Chicago he responded without hesitation, the long history this “hood” has. It is widely diverse, eclectic, becoming very “hip and happening,” safe and has a strong artistic presence. He went on to talk about the lay out and the park improvements, good schooling along with a great community, booming new businesses- it’s a little city, inside a big city. During the summer is especially when you want to find yourself in Logan Square, with all the arts festivals, exhibits, concerts, farmers markets and so much more.
I asked Alderman Rey Colon to leave us with some advice and his words of wisdom. He responding by saying, make a path for yourself. Some people have no idea what they want to do with their life and others are fortunate to know exactly what they want to do, but no matter what your life calling may be, just stay goal oriented and make an impact in whatever you do. Do something!
Be sure to catch this episode of HOODS-Logan Square, you won't want to miss it especially because the students worked so hard and it definitely shows!