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32 minutes | Dec 9, 2022
Gving Tuesday Special Serving People With A Mission
Need to warm up on a cold day? Grab a coffee or tea and take a listen to our Giving Tuesday special with Serving People With A Mission. Co-Founders Jacque Stefanic and Carlos Martinez share their heart and the heart of their organization, which is encouraging young people to be a mentor to younger people in their communities. SPWAM believes that there is nothing that precludes people from serving their communities, and is putting the mission of the organization first. Jacque and Carlos are the definition of servant leaders and we hope you are inspired and motivated by their story. Be sure to join us in supporting Serving People With A Mission this season.
12 minutes | Dec 6, 2022
Giving Tuesday Extra With The Firehouse Dream
Let's check in with The Firehouse Dream, an organization dedicated to providing safe spaces for BIPOC creatives. Their work in Chicago is empowering, resourcing and encouraging youth to put who they are into their work. Be sure to check out their full episode from earlier this season to hear more about the work they do and join us in supporting them this Giving Tuesday season!
29 minutes | Dec 2, 2022
Giving Tuesday Special: Catching Up With Greenlight Family Services
Trigger Warning: This episode discusses the topic of sexual assault healing and health. In this Giving Tuesday Special, we're checking in with Greenlight Family Service, whose mission has continued to grow since our last conversation with them. Greenlight is making a difference for families in Illinois through their adoption services, and now they are also focusing on helping students in college who are victims of sexual assault get the counseling they need. People have always been at the heart of Greenlight, and allowing people to take control of their story and achieve their dreams fuels their staff to keep reaching higher. Bridging Chicago team members John Campbell and Nathan Ciulla are proud board members of the Greenlight board and know firsthand the impact the organization is making.
32 minutes | Nov 14, 2022
Season 5 Episode 40: Molly Matelski Of MMMM....Just Enjoy
Molly Matelski is a veteran of the Chicago food service industry, so she knows what it means to give people a food and beverage experience that impacts more than just that moment. When she and her partner decided to make their dream of curating wines that every person can enjoy a reality, they knew that it had to be a wine that was accessible, genuine and one that you could just enjoy. Now their wines can be found throughout the city and suburbs, and growth is certainly in their future. In this episode, Molly shares how Chicago helped to shape MMMM…Just Enjoy, the role her family played in starting her own business and why they made the choice to highlight Chicago non-profits and the arts in their company.
29 minutes | Nov 3, 2022
Season 5 Episode 39: Back Of The Yards Coffee
Our coffee shop series finale comes courtesy of Back of the Yards Coffeehouse, a single shop local business that is all about Chicago and its people. Small but mighty, the shop, located in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood, brings something familiar in a new way. Their goal to serve the best cup of coffee is coupled with their desire to lift others as they climb. Jesse Iniguez also shares how they participated in the most recent cohort of the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab to grow their way so that the entire community is better together. Be sure to listen to all our coffee-centric episodes from these small, local businesses.
31 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
Season 5 Episode 38: Dollop Coffee Co.
In this second episode in our “coffee-centric” series, we sit down with Dan Weiss, owner and CEO of Dollop Coffee Company—a local’s go-to brand on the Chicago coffee scene. Dan shares with us the lessons he learned in becoming a manager of a growing local business and how mental health and community are some of the bedrock principles of his organization. Tune in to hear how Dan has mastered just the right “blend” in beans and business!
32 minutes | Oct 20, 2022
Season 5, Episode 37: Checago Coffee App
On this episode we welcome our guests, Dashawn and Kendall from Checago Coffee—a mobile application born and bred to offer Chicagoans the best cups of joe the city has to offer. Dashawn and Kendall join us to discuss how their app has curated each Chicago neighborhood’s java watering holes and give users the opportunity to order ahead of time for expedited pick up. You won’t want to miss our kickoff episode in our “coffee-centric” series here at Bridging Chicago!
24 minutes | Oct 13, 2022
Chicago Cares and the Northwest Side CDC Part 2
This week we are sharing part two of our series interview with Chicago Cares and the Northwest Side Community Development Center. The Northwest Side CDC is an organization whose goals is development without displacement, working with those in the neighborhood to drive local businesses and find innovative ways to help Belmont Cragin thrive. In this episode, Patricia Islas shares why the partnership of Chicago Cares and the Northwest Side CDC matters and Fabian Cisneros shares what they hope to do in the future. One thing is clear, the future is bright for this amazing Chicago neighborhood! Be sure to go back and listen to part one if you missed it to get their full story.
0 minutes | Oct 6, 2022
Season 5 Episode 36: Chicago Cares And The Northwest Side CDC
Our series with Chicago Cares rolls on and this week we are joined by the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation. The Northwest Side CDC is an organization whose goals is development without displacement, meaning that they desire to work with the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, its people and businesses to not only help them thrive, but to assist others who are hoping to build a business there get a start that will set them up for success. A vibrant neighborhood deserves unique solutions to barriers, and the Northwest Side CDC is definitely looking at creating these with their neighbors there. The Northwest Side CDC is dedicated to growth, to people and to investing in the future of their corner of Chicago.
30 minutes | Sep 29, 2022
Season 5 Episode 35: Dave Thomas, Flexible Housing Pool
Dave Thomas, the Director of the Flexible Housing Pool, a program of the AIDS Foundation Chicago, joins the podcast to share about the big things FHP is doing to help the chronically un-housed people of the City of Chicago. FHP is looking to break the cycle of homelessness, while reducing costs to the public systems, creating a program that will be better for our city and its citizens. Dave shares why housing people can make a lasting impact beyond the obvious and what they hope to do in the future. While housing Chicago can seem like a bog job, Dave and his team are showing that it is one that has a ripple effect that is beneficial for the city and its culture, stability, and success. Take a listen to hear how FHP is engaging directly with its clients, landlord, NGO’s and the city itself to make this work happen!
28 minutes | Sep 22, 2022
Season 5 Episode 34: Maria Castro, #LovePurse
Maria Castro answered a call from a friend who knew a woman who was in need of some essentials and immediately wanted to come to the rescue. Little did she know that this one act of kindness would turn into an organization that is providing thousands of purses filled with essentials and notes of love to women who are in the most need in our communities. Filled with thankfulness for her Angel Ambassadors and others who have partnered with her, #LovePurse will be hosting their first gala on October 6, 2022 to celebrate what people have accomplished and equip #LovePurse to continue its work. Maria’s bravery in starting the nonprofit in inspiring and is driving her to continue to take #LovePurse to bigger places. Tickets to their exciting gala are on sale now.
34 minutes | Sep 15, 2022
Season 5 Episode 33: Jeffery Leving
Jeffery Leving is a Chicago-based attorney who truly knows the heartbeat of the city. Born on the southeast side, Jeffery spent his childhood in the neighborhoods before heading south to attend college. Coming back to the city, he knew that he wanted to make a difference for the people of Chicago and its future. After working to defend those who needed someone in their corner, Jeffery saw the need for someone to represent dads who were trying exercise their right to spend time with their children. Years later, Jeffery has written multiple books (two of which have been recognized by former president Barack Obama) to share what he’s learned and make sure this important work will continue. *Trigger warning: this podcasts discusses issues of sexual assault and suicide
37 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
Season 5, Episode 32: Shriners Children's Chicago
100 years ago, Shriners Children’s Chicago started as an organization with the hope of standing in the health care gap for children who had been previously overlooked. The first Shriners Hospital opened its doors on September 16, 1922 and has been providing care to these children all over the country since. In these 100 years, they have helped over 1.5 million children with various needs become healthy, happy children. Today, the entire organization is full of people who continue this care and the mission to provide care for any child, regardless of their guardian’s ability to pay. As they continue their groundbreaking work, the research and care that Shriners is providing is helping to make the future of medicine better and more accessible. Celebrate 100 years of Shriners Children’s with us!
30 minutes | Sep 1, 2022
Season 5, Episode 31: 210 Design House
At 210 Design House, design is about much more than simply creating spaces. Rama Dandamudi and his team know that they are designing the spaces that families will call home, spaces where self-expression and love meet comfort and beauty. While they are careful about the products they choose to put in people’s homes, they are also leading the way in innovation and design and their team has years of experience creating amazing vibes. Take a look inside their space and hear about the heartbeat of what makes 210 a special place and how they carry out their social responsibility.
37 minutes | Aug 26, 2022
Season 5 Episode 30: Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP)
Our series with Chicago Cares continues, we highlight their partnerships with organizations doing work throughout the Chicago neighborhoods. Leona Kuhar sat down with Rob Pabon of Chicago Cares and Joel Rodriguez of Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) to share about how their partnership is helping our city thrive! SWOP’s mission is to build a collective of multi-faith organization on the southwest side to ensure people in the communities can grow success in their own lives and the lives of their families. Their dedication to leadership development and collective action leads the charge for what they do and the people they surround themselves with. We’re so excited for you to hear about their work and their hope for the future of our city.
30 minutes | Aug 18, 2022
Season 5 Episode 29: Restoration By Simons
Sam Simon and Natsutsa Mabwa have always been people who love to help other people. After they met working as social workers here in Chicago, they realized they both were very interested in work that would help other people. An opportunity with Servicemaster became the perfect chance to help others who were dealing with difficult times, and now, as business owners, they continue to help others, especially through the pandemic. They wrote their book, Restore, to help others protect their greatest assets and to be your go-to guide for fire and water damage restoration. Sam and Natsutsa are literally helping others stay prepared and pick up the pieces so that they can thrive again! Visit bridgingchicago.com to learn more!
41 minutes | Aug 11, 2022
Season 5 Episode 26: Jacqueline Ruiz
If you can listen to this episode with Jacqueline Ruiz and not get inspired, then it’s definitely time to check your pulse! Jackie is a 29x author, entrepreneur and pilot who does not believe there is anything she cannot do. Raised in Mexico City, Jackie and her family moved to the US at 14 and she used every possible resource available to conquer her dreams. In the challenging moments, Jackie turns to gratitude to get her through, and is thankful for the people who have been placed in her life. She believes that sharing our stories is powerful and necessary and we are certainly glad she shared hers with us. Jackie will be an interviewer at the World Leaders Forum, hosted by Judson University, which you can attend on August 22, 2022 to hear more from Jackie.
30 minutes | Aug 4, 2022
Season 5 Episode 27: Jennifer Prell, Elderwerks
In this episode, host Joe Amari welcomes Jennifer Prell, the Founder and CEO of Elderwerks, an organization dedicated to helping people age well. Jennifer shares about the challenges seniors and their families face when they are making a plan to ensure that everyone can thrive in the next phase of life. She also shares about the value of spending time with seniors and what helps them stay young. Jennifer and her team are also preparing for the Aging Better Expo, a free and fun event that will include expert education, tips on aging topics, local resources, and prizes for registrants and attendees. This is a must listen episode for people of all ages!
31 minutes | Jul 28, 2022
Season 5 Episode 26 Amy Wilhelmi
Amy Wilhelmi is a true rock star who has learned the value of balance in her life. She is a licensed therapist, athlete, author and so much more and brings that life experience with her in her work. In this episode, Amy shares what she has learned along the way, and helps us get inside the mind of competitive athletes and the impact of mental health on competition. Amy also authored her short book, Make Mental Gains, a great book that shares how your growth trajectory is always moving and why wellness is not optional. Be sure to watch for the longer version of the book out on Amazon this fall.
37 minutes | Jul 21, 2022
Season 5 Episode 25: Liz Herrera
Liz Herrera, a university career advisor, private career coach, and fellow podcast creator joins Bridging Chicago to describe her path to become a career counselor and how she coaches her students and clients to “find their truth” when evaluating opportunities. Originally hailing from Pilsen, Liz is a born and bred Chicago native with deep roots in the city and connections to one of Chicago’s main metropolitan universities—UIC—where she attended undergraduate studies and now serves as a Director of Career Development. These days, Liz also wears the entrepreneur hat—she started her own career coaching business, offering values-based and strengths-based coaching for clients looking to launch their career or those in the market for a career change. No formal interview questions here; Liz candidly discusses with our host Nathan her approach to being a job search ally. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
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