This Streetbeat was originally published June 26, 2009

Van Gooden

“I would accept the word of Jesus a lot earlier in my life than I did. I think I waited too long, but like they say, it is never too late. I would have accepted him at an earlier age. Nothing else I would change, because I come from a good family, a loving family, and we take care of each other. We are close-knit, look out for each other. A man could not ask for a better family than the one I have. I have 11 sisters, and one brother that is deceased. My sisters are well-grounded, and they are teachers.”

Danette King

“I don’t think I would change anything because of the trials and tribulations that I did go through. I wasn’t actually grateful for, but now I am because, now, I have an understanding of youth today. I went through a lot as a kid and I was misunderstood. Although I was misunderstood I’m not going to judge the youth of today on their life. What I can do is try to correct them.”

Michael Orsby

“If I could do something different, I would go back to school and work a little harder, knowing how much it improves your life as you get older. That is what I would do over.”

Pastor Quentin Cooley

“If I was able to change my life today it would just be all about the Lord. There is so much corruption going on; evil, killing going on, and murdering going on. I just thank God because my heart goes out to people who are hurting. If I had a shelter home or a building I could put them in, I would love to do that. I just experienced, last week, a 31-year-old couple who had nine children and had nowhere to stay. They were sitting at the 15th District Police Station (5701 W. Madison). My heart just goes out for people like this. God has given me a ministry, and I try to help people, and especially our youth.”

Mary Hartsfield

“I would finish high school instead of getting my GED. I would have loved to go to law school. This is a dream of mine. I’ve been in Chicago all my life. I have three children and lots of grandchildren. I did get my GED as a single parent. I also got involved with politics by being on welfare. After getting my GED I was able to get off welfare. I wanted to go back to school and attend college but I was helping my daughter with the children. I’m still involved with politics. I’m still involved with the community. My daughter-in-law and my son have the Creative Minds Youth Organization, and I am involved with them.”

Viola Dawson

“If I could live my life over and know what I know now, I would stay in school and I would try to help people who don’t understand. Because it is wrong for a lot of things that are going on that we don’t understand about life. How people are mistreating children, killing, using drugs and disrespecting people. I would try to address this.”

Jabbar Battle

“I probably would not change anything about my life. I lived a good life. I went to school and graduated from college. I like helping my community, especially the young people.”