Change is Contagious

One life transformed can result in many lives that are changed for the better. At ICI we know this is true because we’ve seen it happen: when you impact a kid, you impact a family and a community. And if you do it enough times, you have the opportunity to impact the world.

Juanita’s Story


Juanita grew up in the Logan Square/Humboldt Park area of Chicago. A busy and active part of the city, she says her neighborhood was known for a “lot of violence, brokenness, and dysfunction. As a little girl I saw the gang bangers, the prostitutes. It was a very dark environment.” The brokenness was also a part of Juanita’s life at home. With both parents suffering from mental health issues and unable to care for her, she was adopted and raised by her great-grandparents, already in their 60s.

Mia’s Story

September 1, 2017

Already familiar with ICI’s programs because of her older sister, Mia couldn’t wait to start attending them herself. With both parents working, and a younger brother to take care of, Mia needed a safe, family-like environment, where she could be free to be a kid.

Ricky’s Story

September 1, 2017

Aside from a single memory Ricky has of he and his dad playing at the park, he doesn’t remember his father at all. That’s because when Ricky was still a very small boy his father chose a life on the streets rather than a life at home taking care of his family. Even now as an adult, the only thing Ricky really knows about his father is that at some point he was incarcerated.

Camp Story

September 1, 2017

When you work or volunteer with ICI, you have to be ready to discuss just about any topic—you never know what the kids are going to ask! But what’s always true is that kids are really curious about spiritual things and will impress you with some deep and insightful questions and observations.

Gerald’s Story

November 16, 2016

Gerald Jones, known as “Frog” to his friends, has been involved with ICI for as long as anyone can remember. The oldest of eight kids, he started attending the Humboldt Park programs when he was just ten years old:

Joseph’s Story

August 3, 2016

By age 12, Joseph Martinez was the primary caregiver for his family. Substance abuse by family members and a lack of social support left him alone, lost, and confused. ICI provided support when there was no one else and it changed his life forever.

Dan’s Story

June 17, 2014

Humboldt Park, a predominantly Puerto Rican community, is a neighborhood on the west-side of Chicago notorious for its crime, gang activity, drug trafficking, and violence. An economically depressed area, the neighborhood reports incomes and housing values far below the citywide average. It’s poor, it’s rough, it’s dangerous, and it’s often in the news. It’s also where Dan Kurtz grew up.