As North Park nears a full academic year of Catalyst 606__ programming, the University continues its work of building relationships throughout the city and creating opportunities for future learning experiences.
Catalyst 606__ excursions this year have brought students in touch with nonprofits such as the immigration service Centro Romero in Rogers Park and the Chicago Network on Religious Leadership, as well as city offices such as the 39th Ward’s alderman. These visits offer students an up-close look at the various challenges of city life as well as the organizations working to address those challenges.
On-campus events continue thoughtful conversation regarding issues facing cities across the world. Leading the conversation is often an expert in the field. These have included North Park alumni who are able to share not only their field experience but also their journey from student life to working professional. Recent events have included alumni Johan Eldebo and Rayshauna Gray. Eldebo, a former senior humanitarian policy advisor for World Vision, shared what he has learned about the refugee crisis and the challenges facing international aid; while Gray, an author and historian, spoke on the defining cultural moments of the black millennial generation.
As the program continues to develop, so does the local support. “We find much to celebrate in North Park University’s Catalyst 606__ program,” says Vance Henry, Chief of Faith-Based Partnerships and Initiatives in the Chicago Mayor’s Office. “It’s a dynamic example of how we can partner together to educate, cooperate, and create better cities for all.” These are words of encouragement for the many faculty, staff, and students whose incredible efforts have paved the way for the Catalyst 606__ program and continue to support its growth. The program is certainly a source of pride for all involved and offers much to look forward to in the years to come.