Young Philanthropist is a Park Forest Rising Star

Carolyn from Park Forest is a young philanthropist and a budding author.
Carolyn from Park Forest is a young philanthropist and a budding author. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Chicago Height, IL-(ENEWSPF)- You may have noticed her standing near the exit of Food for Less in Chicago Heights selling chocolate bars. Carolyn from Park Forest is there frequently. This Sunday, she was there with her brother Mark watching over her, this time wearing a Rich East t-shirt.

So, there must be a Park Forest story there, right?

And there certainly was. Carolyn, besides the work she does for charity selling chocolate bars and such, is also a budding author.

Carolyn lives in Park Forest. This Sunday, she was collecting money for an organization called Books Over Balls (BOB), a Chicago-based organization that “offers positive and safe environments which play an important role in redirecting and reprogramming the actions, choices, decisions, conduct, and behavior of our younger generation,” according to the organization’s website. “BOB specializes in motivating inner-city youth and encouraging them to become responsible for improving their lives.  We emphasize the importance of education by encouraging all program participants to be accountable for their academic and career success which ultimately increases their desire and willingness to do better in life.”

Ms. Carolyn tells it more succinctly.

“It’s an organization that helps the children get off the streets,” she says. “It also helps stop the violence.”

Carolyn will be in the 5th grade at Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts.

The young philanthropist also has a book coming out.

“My book is about how I grew up, basically how I became this,” she says, referring to herself, “from a baby to what I am now,” Carolyn says the book will probably be coming out next month and will be available on Amazon. She will have some copies on-hand to sell as well.

The title? Little Mama, which she says is her nickname.

Her brother, Mark Mitchell Jr., age 17, stood with her Sunday. Mark will be a junior at Rich East High School this year. He also has a book called Missing Pieces coming out soon. “It’s in the editing stage right now,” Mark says of his book. “One the editor finishes editing our books, then they’re going to be published. That’s what the wait is for — the one-month or two-month wait.”

Mark’s book is “a real-life story, based on when I was younger,” he says. “Growing up, playing basketball, and the situation I had to go through outside of basketball. So, it’s really deep and there’s a lot more to it than just basketball. I’m a basketball player. I play for Rich East. I played for the Illinois Bobcats.”

“It’s basically baseball and basketball,” he says of his book, “and things you go through outside of basketball.”

Mark said he wants to thank God, “because God makes all of this happen, and I want to thank my Mom because without her none of this would ever happen.”

Mark said his Mom, Takesha Howard, has five books published.

Looks like Little Mama and big brother are following in Mom’s footsteps.