Growing up Asian in a white family; one adoptee’s struggle

By Earn Saenmuk/For CU-CitizenAccess.org — There was a girl in my Korean class. Well, there were more than one, but this particular one was special. She was very nice, and her Korean was so good that I felt a little intimidated. I noticed while the teacher was taking attendance that her last name did not sound like an Asian last name. Her name was Claire Hampton, though she told the teacher that she also has a Korean name, Hwaesuk.

Race makeup of local police staff mirror national trends

The racial makeup of police departments across the country has grown to become a heated national issue after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown – an unarmed black teenager – in Ferguson, Mo., last month.

An initial analysis by CU-CitizenAccess.org of local police staff numbers revealed a race gap mirrored in national and regional reports. The staff information was obtained through requests made under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Bike friendly Chambana draws new version of polo

Champaign-Urbana is a biking town, and as an avid biker, that was something I noticed very quickly upon moving here.

Bike lanes run all through both cities as well as campus. Shops like The Bike Co-op and Neutral Cycle provide local cyclists with affordable service and offer to teach people who come in how to maintain a bike themselves, while other stores deal with high-end, professional equipment. People get together to go on group rides.

Slackers on a line

Klara Debie/For CU-CitizenAccess.org — On one of the first sunny days of spring, I saw some people balancing themselves on a tightrope – or that’s what I thought they were doing. They had put a rope between two trees on the quad and were walking across it, running sometimes, jumping on, doing tricks and often falling off it. They were slacklining. As with anything out of the ordinary, I was gripped the moment I saw it. How were they able to find their balance on such a thin, unstable surface?

Step by step instruction on financial aid application helps visitors to Shadow Wood lab

Giovanna Olea/For CU-CitizenAccess.org – Giovanna Olea works for CU-CitizenAccess.org as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. CU-CitizenAccess.org has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. Last week was a little busier than usual. The children were really nervous and excited because they were going back to school.

Changes to bilingual program in one Champaign school forces some parents to make difficult decision

By Giovanna Olea/For CU-CitizenAccess.org – Giovanna Olea works for CU-CitizenAccess.org as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. CU-CitizenAccess.org has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. Many families stay in Champaign-Urbana because their children have problems with school. I heard from several mothers in Shadow Wood that the school their children attended last year will not have bilingual teachers again this year, so the parents were asked to find a different school for their sons.

Community Ambassador at Shadow Wood keeps kids engaged throughout the summer

By Giovanna Olea/For CU-CitizenAccess.org – Giovanna Olea works for CU-CitizenAccess.org as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. CU-CitizenAccess.org has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. The computer lab in Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park has been very busy this summer! Most of this is because the economy has fallen so badly that many families are unable to travel to their original countries or even take a short break.

One family’s struggle for health insurance

By Giovanna Olea/For CU-CitizenAccess.org — Giovanna Olea works for CU-CitizenAccess.org as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. CU-CitizenAccess.org has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. My mother, Rosa Olea, and I had a long conversation about health insurance and payment methods. My father had an accident at his last job and has been disabled ever since.

Shadow Wood computer lab offers more than just tech classes

Giovanna Olea works for CU-CitizenAccess.org as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. CU-CitizenAccess.org has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. By Giovanna Olea/For CU-CitizenAccess.org – Our computer lab in Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park has been very active lately! This week, we are putting our hands on Easter decorations.

City inspectors to visit Cherry Orchard

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess.org — Urbana city inspectors, under an agreement with Champaign County, may be visiting the Cherry Orchard property soon to inspect one of its eight buildings. Cherry Orchard is a now vacant property south of Rantoul owned by the Ramos family, who used the property to house migrant workers. For several years, Champaign County has pushed Eduardo and Bernard Ramos to repair the property’s broken septic system, which drained raw sewage across the property. The buildings were eventually closed and entrances barricaded following a judge’s order in 2011. Over the years, Champaign County officials also followed up on unfounded rumors that the Ramos family kept one of the buildings – known as the Jones Building – open.