TRINITY STUDENTS RESEARCH
Jenna Hania (Branchton, Ontario), sophomore Travis Bandstra (Pella, Iowa),
and senior Jocelyn Black (Chicago) don't want to change the world, just
one small corner of it. The student team presented a proposal on behalf
of the College to representatives of four local legislators Friday, January
23, to secure funding for the neighboring suburb of Robbins, Illinois.
The presentation provided
a graphic description of the deterioration of the city's infrastructure,
including its water and sewer systems, roads, and municipal property. Research
compiled by Hania and Bandstra indicated that more than $10 million is
needed to revitalize the blighted city, including an infusion of commercial
As a member of the Illinois
Campus Compact, Trinity secured a $5000 grant from the McCormick Tribune
Foundation last fall to partner with Robbins, a community where 29 percent
of the families who live there are below the poverty level. Trinity's proposal
for Robbins outlines options for supplemental education for children in
the community's schools, connecting Trinity's Small Business Institute
with the city government, and linking the College's social work department
to work with senior citizens.
representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, U.S. Sens. Peter
Fitzgerald and Dick Durbin, and state Rep. William Davis attended the students'
"The 30th district has many
communities like this, but I didn't know that Robbins is that bad," said
Briana Walker, district administrator for Rep. Davis. "Economic development
is a big priority for our staff, so we'll be sure to take a closer look
at what we can do for Robbins and its residents."
Former Palos Heights Mayor
Dean Koldenhoven, who is serving as a local community liaison to assist
with the project, commended the students for their work.
"This group has been diligent
throughout their research, and I am very impressed by their initiative.
They did a terrific job of articulating the case for Robbins, and it has
been a great pleasure for me to work with them."