Malcolm’s Story: “I Keep Serving Because That’s Me”

Malcolm Elliott, a buildOn junior at TEAM Englewood Community Academy in Chicago, recently shared his personal story at the buildOn Chicago Dinner about why service matters to him and what it meant to have members of Loop Capital, AAR Corp, ComEd, and Ariel Investments visit his school as part of buildOn’s 36 Hours program. Malcolm has done over 650 hours of service with buildOn.

I was born in Chicago and have lived in Englewood my whole life. People in Englewood deal with violence and crime. I often hear about shootings and about people being beat up. My house was broken into in December. These are the types of things that my community goes through.

Around my neighborhood, but also downtown, I’ll see people who are homeless and hungry. I’ve always felt bad about that. I’ve always said to myself, “Man, I want to be the one to step up to the plate and help them out.” By joining buildOn, I’ve been able to do just that.

I went to a service project my freshman year with buildOn where we made sandwiches and passed them out to homeless people downtown. Right then, once I started to pass them out, that’s when I started to get the vibe that what I was doing mattered.

I’ve always said to myself, “Man, I want to be the one to step up to the plate and help (people who are homeless) out.” By joining buildOn, I’ve been able to do just that.

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Malcolm regularly spends quality time with the seniors at the Vivian Carter Senior Apartments, located just a few blocks from TEAM Englewood Community Academy on Chicago’s south side.

Since then, I’ve started serving all the time. I go to Kingdom Builders Food Pantry in Englewood every Tuesday to pass out food. I go to the Vivian Carter Senior Apartments often to spend time with the seniors. I feel like I’ve gotten to know everyone at both those places, that I’ve made connections with people in the community. I’ve gotten to know the security guard at Kingdom Builders, and he always tells me to take good care of my mom. Since I’m her only child, I need to step up and take care of her and be there for her.

I’ve done more than 650 hours of service with buildOn and I keep doing more because that’s me.

Service is a big part of my life now. Service means a lot to me because I love giving back to my community and I know that my community loves to see young people helping to create change. I’ve done more than 650 hours of service with buildOn and I keep doing more because that’s me.

Just a few weeks ago, I had the chance to share what service means to me when members of Loop Capital, AAR Corp, Ariel Investments, and ComEd came to TEAM Englewood to learn about our lives and serve with us. My buddy was Chuck and the two of us talked about the importance of going to college and getting good grades. I felt like I made a really great connection with Chuck because I could tell that he cared about me and that he wanted the best for me.

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Malcolm recently shared his passion for service with his 36 Hours buddy, Chuck, while serving together at Port Ministries, an afterschool program for young children in Chicago.

36 Hours impacted my life. I know that some people say that TEAM Englewood is a bad school, but by having everyone from 36 Hours visit TEAM, we were able to show that’s not true. We have hard workers at my school and smart students. We have people who are responsible and serve the community.

36 Hours impacted my life. I know that some people say that TEAM Englewood is a bad school, but by having everyone from 36 Hours visit TEAM, we were able to show that’s not true.

I want to thank the 36 Hours group for coming out to support TEAM Englewood and the work that we are doing as part of buildOn. If it wasn’t for your support, we wouldn’t be able to do the service that we are currently doing. To serve alongside you in my community has inspired me to serve more and become the leader that I know I can be.

Posted June 8, 2017 in News, Stories by buildOn

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Malcolm Elliott, a buildOn junior at TEAM Englewood Community Academy in Chicago, recently shared his personal story at the... http://www.buildon.org/2017/06/malcolms-story-i-keep-serving-because-thats-me/

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