The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is honoring Jahmal Cole of Chicago, as the organization’s 2020 Community Impact Hero.
Despite growing up in poverty, Jahmal was determined to build a better life for kids facing the same challenges that he encountered. In 2014, Jahmal founded My Block, My Hood, My City, a non-profit organization that partners with schools to expose underprivileged youth to a world outside their neighborhood. Through the ‘Explorers Program’ My Block, My Hood, My City takes young people on field trips in Chicago and across the country to experience different cultures, careers, people and businesses including culinary arts, STEM, finance, volunteerism and more. Each exploration allows them to see the vast range of opportunities available, providing a vision of life beyond the neighborhood. My Block, My Hood, My City also partners with community organizations to beautify neighborhoods and create more positive surroundings for young people and residents.
“Jahmal’s dedication to our youth is truly inspiring. Through his organization he exposes underprivileged youth to a world beyond their neighborhoods, providing them with opportunities that they never thought possible. The Red Cross is proud to count with Jahmal among our 2020 class of heroes,” said Celena Roldán, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois.
For the past 18 years, the Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross has honored each class of heroes at its Heroes Breakfast, typically attended by nearly 1,000 individuals. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross is unable to host this event in person but will honor this class of heroes via traditional and social media coverage beginning Tuesday, April 14.
Follow us @chicagoredcross on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to watch these heroes tell their stories of determination, resilience and kindness. You can also join the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois on LinkedIn as we tell the beautiful stories of these Everyday Extraordinary individuals. We invite you to help us share these amazing stories with your friends and family across social media.
Additional honorees were selected in 11 community service categories. Heroes were chosen by an independent committee of leaders in the business and civic community. For the complete list of 2020 Heroes, visit redcross.org/heroes.
Thank you to all our generous sponsors, including: Better, Edwardson Family Foundation, Kirkland & Ellis, CSX, KPMG, Walgreens and to our media sponsor CBS 2.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties, including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at redcross.org/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.