Rooftop Revelations: 'Poverty ran my family until it ran into me'

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CHICAGO – This past summer, Devin Howard, a young man dressed in a sharp gray suit, attended the graduation ceremony for the first-ever women’s electrician class at the Project H.O.O.D. community center and stole the show with one line: “Poverty ran my family until it ran into me.” He had been invited to speak because of his success. Several years ago, Howard graduated from the Project H.O.O.D. construction class and landed a job as project manager at one of Chicago’s major construction companies, Reed Construction. His path, however, was not a straight one. 

On the 52nd day of his 100-day rooftop vigil to raise funds to build the building for his transformative community center, Pastor Corey Brooks welcomed his star pupil for a fireside chat in the bitter cold. He said he tells everybody the example they should follow is Devin Howard. 

Devin nodded his appreciation. He then began to tell his story. He graduated in 2017 from Urban Prep in Englewood where he played football and maintained a 3.8 GPA. He moved on to Eastern Illinois University where he joined the football team while majoring in nursing. But something wasn’t right.

“I came to

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