True unsung heroes are few and far between and Edgar Montiel is toward the top of the list. Growing up in Cicero as the oldest of five boys in a low income family, Edgar and his brothers found their after-school safe haven in the Boy’s Club of South Cicero.
Currently the last standing Boy’s (only) Club under the Boys & Girls Club umbrella, it still only charges families $10 a year for their kids to be members. As someone who benefited greatly from the club as a youth, Edgar now is the CEO helping to give countless kids the same safe haven experience he coveted when he was their age.
A neighborhood that’s often plagued with drugs and gang violence, the Boys Club of South Cicero gives them an opportunity to get their homework done, play sports with their friends, and participate in a variety of activities under the supervision of safe adults.
The eldest son of a Mexican family, Edgar often had a lot of responsibility and restrictions put on him growing up. But, ever the explorer, as soon as he got the chance to try something radically different, he decided to attend SIU six hours away from home. The experiences he’s had both as a student and travelling the world by himself since has uniquely equipped him to support the kids he works with and their families.
“How can we get help in every aspect? You know, it's not just here at the Club. We're going to help you with your application, this and that. We're going to keep in touch when you're in school. We send care packages to students at different campuses. It's for them to understand that we're still there for them. It doesn't end when you turn 19 years old.”
On this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast, hear more about Edgar’s stories from solo adventures to helping the youth of Chicago and learn how you can get involved and help the Boys Club of South Cicero.
Topics: TFOCB Podcast