Tag Archives: Lauren Howard

Women Entrepreneurs Find New Opportunities

By Audrey Leon, Lauren B. Howard and Ambar Gilmore

Maribel Lopez Velazquez starts every day at 6 a.m. enthusiastically greeting busy parents and sleepy children from the top of her front porch at her Cicero home day care center.

Lopez Velazquez, 37, a single mother of four teenage children, lights up with joy whenever she talks about her students that range from infants to 12-years-old.

“Loving children is not the ingredient you need to open up your child care,” Lopez Velazquez said. “The ingredient you need is dedication, perseverance, you want to do something for yourself.”

Continue reading

Chicago Cop Striving to Take Next Step

By Lauren Howard

Ray Charles said it best when he sang the lyrics “You know the nighttime, darling, is the right time, to be with the one you love.”

Unfortunately, for many people who work nights, that time is reserved for providing a service to receive a fee. People can enjoy what they do, do what pays the bills or both.

For Chicago Police Officer Darius Parker, 30, working midnight to 8 a.m. five nights a week definitely pays the bills. Parker, who has been a cop for four years, works at the 6th District Gresham Police Station, 7808 S. Halsted St.

Parker is usually an early arrival to the station.

“I arrive early to talk with the afternoon or 3 to 11 [p.m.] guys,” Parker said. “You never know what you’re gonna find out.”

Continue reading