More Than a Headline: Are Students Proud to Live in Chicago?

Peter Jones, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The magnitude of Chicago’s unfortunate reputation as a segregated community plagued by gun violence is not always understood by Latin students or most Chicago residents, for that matter. To many, especially those fortunate enough to be either emotionally or geographically distanced from our city’s troubles, Chicago is an idyllic place to grow up.

Outside of the city limits, however, it’s pretty common to run into people who are visibly taken aback upon hearing the name of the Windy City. Fox News has a search bar that offers some insight into why that second-hand fear might be perpetuated among non-Chicagoans.

These are the headlines of their three most recent articles that contain, anywhere in the article, the word “Chicago”:


Man accused in Chicago-area mall slaying charged with murder

Baby shot, critically wounded in parked car in Chicago

The Latest: Mom may have been target in son’s shooting


All three are tragic and rightfully sadden Chicagoans and rural Americans alike. Perhaps it’s even more alarming that these types of stories aren’t typically noticed, as a result of their prevalence, by a large portion of our city’s population.

Such articles deserve as much publicity as they can get, for they call attention to the problem of violence in the city, but it’s important to note that any positive story that mentions Chicago could have taken the place of the three above, and none did. Clearly, an underwhelming amount of nationwide attention is called to the positive ways in which our city stands out.

Ten Latin students, from nine different neighborhoods, were asked if they felt proud to be a Chicagoan, even despite the city’s flaws. While their exact words differed, not a single one said no. Below is a selection of some of those students’ opinions:

“Yeah, I am proud to live here,” said Junior Lizzie Nash. “As much as our city has problems, we also have a lot of good qualities, and I like to believe that the good outweighs the bad . . . you hear stories of all the violence in our city, but you also hear about youth in chicago doing great things . . . for example, Chicago youth came together during the Van Dyke case, and that’s something I’m really proud of.”

Freshman Vivie Koo discussed her complicated relationship with Chicago, saying that they “take a lot of pride in [the city],” but the issues of gun violence and segregation turn their hometown into a place she might be “a little ashamed to be associated with.”

Jack Tempone cited sports, friends, and family as reasons to have pride in Chicago.

Spencer Gunning mentioned the abundance of beautiful parks that our administration maintains.

Tejas Vadali, a sophomore, offered that “There are a lot of things people say about different places … I know gun violence is only one aspect of Chicago. It’s a facet that somehow has become more talked about than our vibrant culture. So yes, I’m proud to be a Chicagoan, because I know we’re better than how the media makes us seem, and those who don’t live here shouldn’t sway the opinions of those who do.”

Perhaps everyone’s hometown is special to them in their own ways, but Chicago seems to have a certain personality that particularly attracts those who know it best. While Latin students’ opinions are not at all a representation of the entire city, these quotes nonetheless display the pride that many residents feel.

Ultimately, it seems, while there may be much to be resolved within our city, there’s also a lot to be proud of.