Jim Palos


Helping Kids "See Down the Road"

"I guess I came from a famous neighborhood. In Humboldt Park we invented the drive-by shooting, or at least perfected it. Gangs were a dominating presence in the neighborhood and claimed a lot of good young people. I'm talking about buddies whom you grow up playing baseball with in the alley or on the street. Then they make a series of bad decisions and are pulled away from sports and into guns or drugs - gangs.

Midtown was a very different scene. One defining event happened when I was in eight grade. I hadn't been think much about high school. The program director at Midtown, Tom Kane was his name, asked me if I had applied to a nearby college prep high school. I hadn't and was reluctant to even try. But Tom believed in me. He dropped everything he was doing and that moment marched me over to the school's admission's office.

I came to understand that, just like Tom, we're responsible for each other and in a special way for needy kids. We want them to make good choices at a time when they often don't understand the outcomes. We need to help them see down the road."


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