Be True to Yourself by Justin L


This is Merle, reading her Le Cordon Bleu culinary book. She lives in Uptown with her son after reuniting with him after almost ten years. She originally came from the Philippines with her seven siblings, her mom, and her dad, who was half Chinese. There she worked as a contractor alongside with being a baker. She used to bake cakes for her relatives for special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings. She then immigrated to the United States to live the “American Dream.” For years she has provided for her family and served as the glue to bind the family together. She has tried to bring her kids to America to have a better life, too. After many years of processing the papers, she reunited with them back in 2015. When her kids arrived, she was finally able to see some tourist spots in Chicago since all she used to do was work. She loves the diversity in Uptown, and wishes for the crime rate to decrease. As I asked her for advice she shared her favorite one, “To live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.”

My best friend by Kanita A

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My best friend Peter and I decided to go out one morning to take pictures in our community of Uptown.  On our daily walk to school we both pass this alley full of graffiti, so we decided to stop there. Peter’s bike has significant meaning to him; he described it as his “getaway.”  He feels free when he rides his Fixie. He loves that he is in complete control and that there are many risks to riding it. Peter is not one to complain whether it be a bad grade or an injury. He believes “everything happens for a reason.”

Facing the Future by John V


This is a picture of two eighth-grade students staring off into the distance. The students, similar to other students across the country, are preparing to embark on a new journey. This point in our lives is a time when we prepare to set off into the real world. Finishing the adventure of middle school and going into high school is a big step, and what we do now will affect the rest of our lives. Many students fear the future, but several confident ones face it head on.

My nephew by Jaely E


In today’s times, no matter what age you are, technology is part of life. Whether it be an iPad, computer, smartphone, or electronic toy kids have access to all sorts of gadgets. This is my little nephew. The only thing that can get his attention is my iPad. Mostly anything that contains technology! He was asking me to use it all day, and finally I let him. He spent about five hours watching the screen and wasn’t tired at all. Technology today can be helpful to a parent, but I can’t help but think about what the long-term effect of using technology at such a young age might be.

My friends by Connor G


In this photo my friends Zinuo (Right) and Ryan (Left), are displaying their competitive side. During a typical spring day in Uptown, you can always find students at the Goudy Park. I was especially proud of this picture because it looks like there is an optical illusion, they are actually midair but the image appears to be photoshopped. For this picture, I counted to three and waited until they reached the point of their jumps and snapped the shutter. I find this picture unique because it represents how students in Uptown spend their time after school.

Fiza Ahmad by Amara A


This is my sister Fiza Ahmad. Fiza was born in Pakistan and is currently a third grader at Goudy Technology Academy in Uptown. She also lives in Uptown with her family. Fiza enjoys watching TV, reading, and playing with teddy bears. Fiza especially gets excited when she watches anime. She loves cats and is planning to get one someday. This picture was taken at our family’s apartment while Fiza was starting her nightly homework and thinking about the blue paper in her hand. That night her worksheets were everywhere showing the large mess in the picture.

Blanca by Ram F


Blanca is the Science liaison at Uptown Boys and Girls Club. She was born on the South Side of Chicago and went to DePaul University. Her dad was born in Texas and her mom was born in Mexico. She is greatly appreciative of her parents. She feels that Uptown is both safe and not safe but the Boys and Girls Club is very safe.

Samuel Myles by Ally P


We met Samuel Myles on Tuesday March 15, 2016. After we walked by him, we immediately turned around and decided he would be a great candidate for our Uptown Photography Project. As we started to explain what school we go to and what we were doing in Uptown, he seemed to know exactly what we were going to ask. When we took a few pictures of him he started to explain that he works and lives in Uptown, and that he also knows all the best hangouts. The coat he is wearing in this photo was brand new and very expensive, but Samuel said he loved the way it felt and it was well worth the cost.


Vietnam Veteran by Emily B


My group found this man outside of Sun Wah, a Chinese restaurant on Broadway street. Though, unfortunately, his interview sheet was misplaced, I remember that it was covered in frantic writing. He talked as fast as we could write and willingly answered every question we asked. This man had an obvious attachment to Uptown, though he had not always lived there. He and his neighbors were kicked out of their apartments. When asked what he would change about Uptown, he replied that he “didn’t like Rahm Emanuel” and that he wishes that “Obama would be our senator again.” He shared that he injured his legs in an accident, but didn’t go into detail. Before we left, he kindly told us to enjoy our lunch.


J. R. Rosner by Margo W


J.R. Rosner was born in Vienna and came to the United States in 1938 at the age of 13. She attended Sullivan High School in Rogers Park neighborhood, and is an only child. She could speak no English when she first came, but understood quite well within her first year of living here. She can speak German, French, and English, and later in her life, J.R. Rosner became an English teacher. She has one cousin three times removed who still lives in Vienna, and she loves the activities that she can participate in at Self Help Home.