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University Village families sign up their children for Camp Power

Maria Gardner Lara

Irene Isaac, who works in home care, arrived at the Camp Power sign-up event this week wearing her scrubs. The mother of two said this program provides her some relief now that school’s out.

“It helps me out with registration fees and everything,” Isaac said. “I don't have to worry about trying to figure out how I'm going to pay this, and pay for them to do something for the summer.”

The camp is run by Kishwaukee Family YMCA and is open for students living at University Village. The program, free of charge, is part of a collaboration between various nonprofit organizations including First United Methodist Church of DeKalb.

Vicki Boone, the church’s volunteer coordinator, ensures there’s box lunches for the kids as part of its "Summer Lunch at the Park" program.

The camp receives support from the city and the DeKalb Township, though it’s funded primarily through donations, said Aaron Confer, the YMCA youth development director.

A Chicago native, Maria earned a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield . Maria is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America. RFA is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit journalism organization. Un residente nativo de Chicago, Maria se graduó de University of Illinois Springfield con una licenciatura superior en periodismo de gobierno.