Pastor Rosetta Dobson is the one-woman driving force behind the Walk By Faith program in the Austin community, through which she reaches out to young people living on the West Side. This past Monday, Dobson was in the organization’s backyard surrounded by some of her young members, who wore their “Go Green” T-shirts as they helped clean up after a barbecue. A no-nonsense woman, Dobson nonetheless treats them with respect and shows them plenty of love.

Twelve young people were assigned to assist in her ongoing community outreach programs. “I have been so elated and happy,” she said, “because our president, Barack Obama, gave them the opportunity, and I would not be able to do the work without Illinois Back to Work people.” The program is a statewide initiative to employ people in public works projects, including on roads and at schools.

Some of the work they are doing is going out into the community, passing out flyers and recruiting young people to join Walk By Faith.

“I have office workers and even a couple of individuals who are grant writers. I have three typists. Most of them are administrative assistants who didn’t have a job. Now they have a job and are helping me greatly. I’m open here at 5453 W. North Ave. daily from 9-5 and on Saturdays I’m here with the Go Green individuals. We are teaching them to keep the environment clean, how important it is to maintain gardens, to water the plants and maintain the grass, and most importantly how to pick up garbage even if it is not yours. If you pass by something, pick it up because garbage damages our environment. They are being taught how to recycle and how important it is to keep our environment clean, even the water, and they love it. We also have a GED program, as well as a diabetes program, so the Back to Work people are helping to let the community know we are here to serve.”