Editor's note: Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through December 7 at CNNHeroes.com. The winner will be announced at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which airs December 11, live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
(CNN) – Surrounded by gang violence in her Chicago neighborhood, Diane Latiker opened her home to area youth and started a community program called Kids Off the Block.
Since 2003, Latiker's nonprofit has taught valuable life skills and provided recreational activities to more than 1,500 young people.
CNN recently asked Latiker for her thoughts on being chosen as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011.
CNN: Where were you when you got the call that you'd been selected as a Top 10 CNN Hero?
Diane Latiker: I was just finishing up a meeting at Kids Off the Block. I cannot explain the feeling when they told me about my selection. Euphoria hit me smack-dead in the head!
Filed under: CNN Heroes
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with