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Tonight on AC360: Rescuing Chicago kids from gang violence
September 20th, 2012
06:20 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Rescuing Chicago kids from gang violence

Diane Latiker lives in a dangerous neighborhood where people hide in their homes, but she's not afraid to go outside and confront the problem. "We're losing a generation to violence," she says.

The mother of eight and grandmother of 13 was once a high school drop out who turned her life around and earned her GED. She didn't want her own children to go down the wrong path.

In 2003, Latiker started a program called Kids Off the Block (KOB) to give the youth in Chicago a chance to escape the gang influence and a safe place where they could focus on the future.

She welcomed them into her home and told them they could find refuge there 24/7. The group grew from 10 to 75.  Seeing the success of the organization, Latiker left her job as a cosmetologist to put all her time toward KOB.

In 2010 donors helped her purchase a building for the kids that can accommodate hundreds each year. Dozens go there every day for tutoring, counseling and activities.

Because of her dedication and impact, in 2011 Latiker was one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes. Learn more about her work in the video below and tune in at 8 and 10 p.m. ET to hear how her life and KOB has changed since last year.


Filed under: CNN Heroes
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