Taking the Initiative
Mateo Farzaneh first heard of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh as a child growing up in Iran in the 1970s. While he realized then that the name was important, Farzaneh could not have known that more than four decades later he would become intimately involved in an effort to memorialize and honor Iran’s first democratically elected prime minister.
Students helping students
When Byron Terry earned a Class Gift Scholarship, the award came as a tremendous relief. The $450 scholarship helped to pay for books, supplies and fees.
Making a dream a special-needs reality
When Angie Craft married in 2006, she became stepmom to an autistic boy named James. “I was scared to death,” said Craft, a social worker. “I had spent much of my working life with people who have mental illnesses and addiction problems, but I’d never been around nonverbal people before.”
Lights, camera, scholarships
Six years after Cinespace Chicago Film Studios was founded in an abandoned steel plant on the Southwest Side of Chicago, the company has become the largest soundstage operation outside of Hollywood. The studios have served as the home base for dozens of films and TV shows, generated an estimated $3 billion in film-related spending and been responsible for the creation of more than 7,500 jobs in the Chicago area.
A world of opportunities
Whether she’s studying political science, interning for a state senator, attending the Democratic National Convention or traveling abroad, Anna Augustyn immerses herself in politics any way she can.
A life lived to the fullest
Katie Kelly arrived at Chicago Midway International Airport on a Sunday evening in January 2016. She was exhausted from the flight, but her spirits were high after her first trip to Las Vegas. Katie asked the airline for wheelchair assistance, then sat next to a group of women who clearly were members of a University of Nebraska sports team. She parked her carry-on suitcase packed with medical supplies and cheerfully called her father to let him know she had arrived safely.
An inspiration to give back
In 1965, Marge Csakai and Jim Blair took a Creative Writing class at Northeastern Illinois University. The teacher was none other than Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks, who three years later also was appointed poet laureate of Illinois, but that exciting fact is a mere footnote in their family story. Four years after taking the class together, Marge and Jim were married—and each had earned their degrees. “It was quite an experience,” Jim said. “It was a confluence of important events in our lives.”
Meet Daniel L. Goodwin, the man behind the historic contribution
Question: How successful has Daniel L. Goodwin been since he graduated from Northeastern Illinois University? Answer: So successful that describing his accomplishments as merely “successful” is utterly inadequate.
Rock your way to the top
If you ask Michael Angelo Batio about achieving success, he’ll tell you it boils down to one thing: choosing to finish. And he would know.
Finding fuel for the spark
Shawn K. Woods is a high-energy example of how a good influence on one life can reverberate through the lives of countless others. A sought-after speaker, trainer and coach—as well as an author and an entrepreneur—Woods is an expert on rising above challenges and is eager to pass the lesson on. Woods was raised with 10 siblings, and everyday life in a housing project on the West Side of Chicago was dominated by drugs, gangs and violence. “We lived on the dividing line between the Disciples and the Vice Lords,” Woods recalls. “I saw my first homicide when I was 6 years old.”