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Inspiring Stories from the North Side

The heart of our mission at VoyageChicago is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Chicago’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out North Side’s rising stars below.

Cassandra Friedman

I started out as a high school teacher at Niles East High School, in Skokie Illinois. Although I loved teaching, I realized I wanted to be in a more private setting, full-time, helping adolescence and families work through their issues of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Read more>>

Landree Fleming

I’ve always been active and started running cross-country when I was 12 years old. Throughout my teen and college years, I struggled with pretty severe eating disorders and couldn’t make peace with my body, thanks to, I’m sure, societal pressures, magazines, tv, etc, also just my own chemical makeup! Read more>>

Kendall Bryson

As a kid, I was not a picky eater. My love for food started at a very young age. When I was about 7 years old, we lived on a farm and had calves. It wasn’t until then, I realized what happened to animals and the process of getting them to our supermarket shelves. Read more>>

Roslyn Turner

The Rolfe Foundation Young Professionals Board (YPB) is made up of individuals in our 20s and 30s who have felt the heartache and personal impact of pancreatic cancer, along with friends and allies. We launched in April 2010 with a youthful vision, personal stories and a lot of hope as we fight against pancreatic cancer. Read more>>

Jim Iverson

My wife, Gloria is a special education teacher and an autism expert, and she has seen the dilemma of families whose special needs children have aged out of the system. One of our sons, Nicholas is also on the Autism spectrum, so Gloria’s experience is both professional and personal. Read more>>

Mariko Sato

In its first years, he focused on making original beauty goods and handbags for Maiko (apprentice Geisha) and Geisha. Geisha and Maiko “girls” of that generation were fashion and beauty trendsetters in Kyoto. Ms.Tomomi Horikiri (Osamu’s second daughter) was a make-up artist in both New York & Japan for more than 25 years working with major musicians, models, and actresses. Read more>>

Roy Grant

One of the main things that opened me to my calling was reading self-help books as a teenager. I was thrilled that I could change my life with my own two hands as the books described, dealing at the time with childhood trauma, PTSD, and depression. Read more>>

Joel Sacramento, Carol Robinson

Insight Chicago Meditation Community (ICMC) is a non-profit organization with 6 locations in Chicagoland. Carol and Joel are not the founders of the organization but both are deeply involved (and have other connections w/meditation/mindfulness). Carol was one of the first to participate in the Ravenswood sangha, which has been active for approx. 6 years. Read more>>

Katy Osborn

The path that led me to where I am today is scenic and hilly with a couple sharp turns. The pursuit of creativity has been my driver since I was knee-high. I grew up with two sisters, Jenny and Andrea, and a brother, Dan. We were a collaborative, creative and crafty crew. Read more>>

Susan Abelson

When I was young I loved vintage hats. I collected them both to wear and to hang on my walls as art. At some point my collection was stolen and I mourned their loss for years. I went on to make paintings and performance art and raised two daughters. Read more>>

Chris Visto

UNITY – Beyond The Lines was founded by myself (Chris Visto) and our Co-Founder, Chrissy Dizon in 2016. We came up with the idea of creating a “Tournament of Champions” basketball event to help promote unity, and shed more light on the more positive things going on throughout Chicago-land, a city that is unfortunately widely known for it’s violence and segregation. Read more>>

Tony Santana, Aubry

As Hip Hop everlastingly begins to transcend we have seen the disappearance of the Hip-Hop duo. Inspired by groups like Outkast, Method Man and Redman, Earthgang, and UGK the Stranded Civilians are eager to put themselves on the map. Read more>>

Shanna Shrum

Sure! I moved from Missouri to Chicago in 2005 to pursue comedy and acting. Almost immediately, like literally two weeks after I got here, I started to take improv classes at IO Chicago. I went through their training with the high hopes of making it onto a “team” and guess what? I didn’t! Read more>>

Mary Waldon

I wanted to be a support and resource for teen girls who are struggling with the challenges of adolescence. I feel very fortunate that the road has been relatively smooth with regard to my practice. I love what I do, and while I am very challenged at times by cases, I have amazing colleagues to support me. Read more>>

Erin Leyden, Stefanie Norris

I was recently brought on as the new Executive Director of Willow House. My hope is that Willow House will be a first line of defense for families that are coping and grieving the death of a parent or child. With the help of our staff, board members, and volunteers, we aim to grow the organization to meet the demands for our services. Read more>>

Mark Seigle

I grew up in the family business. Went off to college and came back home to join the company. Over the last 38 years have held practically every position including “Retiree” having sold the business in 2005. I failed that job and bought the company back realizing my only hobby was work. Read more>>

Anthony Cooney

I started to get into film making in 2003 with a friend of mine. One day we were hanging out watching movies and were kind of bored. So We started to discuss movie ideas and thought well Why can’t we make a Movie it can’t be that hard especially for all the low budget horror films we watch. Read more>>

Janna Sobel

Hi! Thank you for asking. I’m a storyteller and I teach storytelling to others, from Moth Grandslam winners, to TED Talkers, to leaders and organizers. I also offer Applied Improvisation and Storytelling workshops to teams and organizations, to help people collaborate in more positive, innovative, effective ways. Read more>>

Jill Valentine

I feel like I have been a comedian since being the 1st grade class clown. I have always been interested in the arts and started in grammar school plays, high school speech and shows, college speech and then after college went to Second City, iO Chicago and The Playground. Read more>>

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