WHY DID YOU START KIDS OFF THE BLOCK?
I believed I could make a difference. I hoped to create a place where youth from all over the city of Chicago could find a “safe space” with resources and opportunities in one place.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
I love when the youth I serve begin to believe in themselves. They start to hope and dream again.
YOU WERE NAMED A “WOMAN OF WORTH” HONOREE BY L’OREAL PARIS USA—ONE OF ONLY 10 WOMEN IN THE COUNTRY. THIS COMES WITH A $10,000 GRANT. WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO WITH IT?
I want to purchase and rehab the building that houses KOB headquarters. We hope to expand classrooms and mentor and add a music production space and a technology center. This will triple the number of students we can serve there.
WHAT IMPACT DOES KOB HAVE ON THE COMMUNITY?
I’ve had kids tell me: “Ms. Diane, if your door wasn’t open, I would probably be dead or in jail.” We give them hope for a tomorrow filled with opportunity.
Kate Baratta is a Chicago writer and blogger. Learn more at peoplewithpanache.com.