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Aetna Better Health of Illinois gives grant to Imagine Englewood If…

Imagine Englewood If…, a not-for-profit organization focused on empowering the Greater Englewood Community, is pleased to announce a $5,000 grant from Aetna Better Health of Illinois.

Serving the Greater Englewood Community since 1997, Imagine Englewood’s mission is to strengthen and empower the Englewood community through teaching local youth healthy living, environmental awareness and positive communication skills. It works to motivate youth and their families to seek a positive quality of life and encourages them to pursue positive change.

Programming focuses on strengthening community health and wellness through:

  • Youth leadership/mentorship

  • Community gardening

  • Violence prevention

  • Lead poisoning prevention

“We are pleased to receive this grant from Aetna Better Health,” said Sheryl Lott, Board Member, “This grant will help us provide Englewood with the services and programming that will strengthen community ties.”

“Aetna Better Health is committed to building stronger communities,” said Lawrence Kissner, Chief Executive Officer of Aetna Better Health of Illinois. “We know that health care is tied to quality of life issues like the ones Imagine If is addressing every day.

“Imagine Englewood embraces the community through the development of resources and the promotion of education and advocacy among youth and adolescents. Its passion for the Englewood neighborhood and the city of Chicago is evident through its programs, such as lead poisoning prevention and community gardening. Aetna Better Health is proud to collaborate with them as they raise awareness and continue to inspire community residents to engage in dialogue and action that results in a tremendous positive impact.”

Imagine Englewood If started when Jean Carter-Hill and Helen Arnold Massey attended an Imagine Chicago Citizen Leadership class looking for tools to improve the quality of life for residents in the Englewood community. Jean, the Coordinator at One Church One School, and Helen, a health educator, invited a group of youth and adults from Mt. Carmel CME Church and Nicholson School’s One Church One School Program, to attend classes at Imagine Chicago. Thereafter, the Imagine Englewood If organization evolved.

From the beginning, they recognized that all community residents could benefit from the Imagine Chicago leadership classes that were funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2000, Imagine Englewood If and its community partners formed a coalition to unite the Englewood community in celebrating and sharing resources on Make a Difference Day. Today, Imagine Englewood If remains steadfast in its pursuit to make a difference in the lives of the families residing in the Greater Englewood community of Chicago.

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