Chicago Mom Honored For Community Work

Diane Latiker wants "no child left behind."

For the past 10 years, the youthful grandmother has opened her doors to young people in Chicago's troubled Roseland neighborhood. As the founder of Kids Off The Block, Mrs. Latiker has helped turn around the lives of over 100 young people by keeping them busy with positive things. The organization started in her home on 116th and Michigan, but two years ago it moved to a renovated storefront two doors down. But even with a new location, Kids Off The Block was in need of funding to go to the next level.

Then, a surprise call came from CNN last fall.

Mrs. Latiker learned that she was one of 10 finalists for the  2011 CNN Hero Awards. All of the finalists were given $50,000 and would compete for the $250,000 grand prize.  On December 11, she and her family attended the live, televised ceremony in Los Angeles--which featured a surprise introduction by rapper/actor Ice Cube. 

And the accolades keep coming.

She was recently honored by the Chicago chapter of American Red Cross as a 2012 Community Impact Hero. Gerald Sprattlin, a young man whom she helped years before, nominated her for the award.

Both are featured in the following video:




~ Zack A. Isaacs

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