GARY, Ind. — By the time Aaliyah Stewart was 14, both of her older brothers had been killed by gun violence.
In 2014, Stewart, then a high school freshman, launched the ASW Foundation, a nonprofit organization that would honor her brothers and help turn her pain into purpose.
Now 18, Stewart is working with the city of Gary to secure a grant and launch a youth center in 2020. She said the poverty and unemployment levels in Gary leave many young people with nothing to do.
“We want them to be able to use the youth center for football fields, baseball, volleyball — you know, things we are not used to seeing in the city of Gary.”
Aaliyah Stewart is one of Chicago’s Very Own.