DIANE LATIKER: FOUNDER, KIDS OFF THE BLOCK
In 2003, Diane Latiker founded Kids Off The Block when she opened her Chicago home to youth in her community to help steer them away from the negative influences they saw daily. After speaking with young people about their issues and concerns, Latiker offered homework help, mentoring, activities, and a safe place for youth ages 12-24 to go after school. Then and now, her work emphasizes self-development and acquiring knowledge, skills and experience that allows young people to set and achieve their life goals. Kids Off The Block has grown from a small group of 10 kids meeting in Latiker’s living room in 2003 to serving more than 3,000 youth around Chicago, many of whom have gone on to earn college degrees, start careers and lead successful lives.