Good News Sunday: St. Viator students interview veterans of recent wars for new book

Good News Sunday: St. Viator students interview veterans of recent wars for new book

  • St. Viator High School students, from left sitting, Quentin Perry, 18, Christopher Rapala, 17, and Julia Benkendorf, 18, and, standing, Madeline Dauphin, 18, are among the authors of a new book about local veterans who served in armed conflicts since the Gulf War. It's the fourth book about area veterans published by the Arlington Heights school.

    St. Viator High School students, from left sitting, Quentin Perry, 18, Christopher Rapala, 17, and Julia Benkendorf, 18, and, standing, Madeline Dauphin, 18, are among the authors of a new book about local veterans who served in armed conflicts since the Gulf War. It's the fourth book about area veterans published by the Arlington Heights school. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted11/21/2021 7:00 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald.

As Madeline Dauphin listened to Craig Kopstain tell war stories from the desert battlefields of the Middle East, it felt like she, too, was right there with him.

 

"It really just made history come to life. I could picture the stories he was telling me in my head," said Dauphin, a St. Viator High School senior, who wasn't yet born when the Navy captain was working for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf's central command staff during Operation Desert Storm.

Dauphin was one of 15 honors history students of the Arlington Heights school who spent months during the pandemic piecing together the stories of local veterans like Kopstain. The firsthand accounts of 11 area veterans, as told to and written by the students, are contained in a new book published this month in time for Veterans Day: "Arlington Heights' War on Terror."

It's the fourth book of veteran biographies written by St. Viator students. Their profiles of those who served during the Gulf War and in Afghanistan and Iraq follows earlier books about World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans.

Dauphin and other students who were part of the book project took part in a panel discussion Monday at Metropolis Ballroom in downtown Arlington Heights.

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Greg Padovani, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights, helped connect the students with veterans in Arlington Heights and the vicinity.

"Veterans are just wonderful repositories of history for your family and for the nation," Padovani said.

For the full story, click here.

South Barrington teen's fashion nonprofit helps refugee women

Nurayn Khan, 17, of South Barrington, a senior at Barrington High School, started a nonprofit business that helps educate and employ refugee women to become seamstresses. They make aprons, oven mitts, blankets and yarn hats, as worn by Nurayn.
Nurayn Khan, 17, of South Barrington, a senior at Barrington High School, started a nonprofit business that helps educate and employ refugee women to become seamstresses. They make aprons, oven mitts, blankets and yarn hats, as worn by Nurayn. - Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

From a young age, Nurayn Khan had an interest in fashion and designing her own line of modest and organic clothing.

The 16-year-old Barrington High School senior began researching how fast fashion is produced and realized a lot of clothing brands and companies outsourced their labor overseas to factories in China, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh and other countries with low labor standards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It was honestly appalling to me," Nurayn said. "It was very emotional and heartbreaking."

Nurayn decided she wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem created by the commercial fast-fashion industry. She channeled her passion, and compassion, into launching a nonprofit clothing company -- with the help of her mother, Shazia, -- that educates and employs refugee Muslim women as seamstresses.

The South Barrington mother-daughter duo started All Sorts Organic in 2019. It aims to empower refugee women and girls "one stitch at a time," helping them gain financial independence through a sewing training program.

The women create modest, fashionable clothing for teen girls, "incorporating a business model dedicated to fair trade and sustainable practices," the company's website reads.

For the full story, click here.

Elgin Bears football team has a shot to win a championship

Coach Shaun Hopkins (center facing) and the Elgin Bears U11-orange football team are going to the national finals of the United Youth Football League in Plant City, Florida, in December.
Coach Shaun Hopkins (center facing) and the Elgin Bears U11-orange football team are going to the national finals of the United Youth Football League in Plant City, Florida, in December. - COURTESY OF ELGIN BEARS

One local Bears football team has a shot at a championship this season, and as you might expect, it's probably not the pro team in Chicago.

The Elgin Bears 11U-orange team will travel to Florida early next month for the United Youth Football League national championship. The players are 11 years old or younger.

"I'm excited for them," said coach Shaun Hopkins. "It's like a dream come true for these kids."

And it's a second dream come true for many of them. Eight of the 17 kids on the team won a national championship under Hopkins in the 8U division three years ago.

"This group is really special," he said. "We are the smallest team in the league, but our heart is bigger than any other team."

For the full story, click here.

A new mural at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield recognizes and honors health care workers and their efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new mural at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield recognizes and honors health care workers and their efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer
New mural honors health care workers at Central DuPage Hospital

A new mural unveiled at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital has layers of meaning.

It's dedicated to "health care heroes" who've endured surge after surge of COVID-19 patients.

And it's inspired by their strength over two grueling years of the pandemic. One of the four mural panels depicts four hospital workers in masks and scrubs, flexing their arms like Rosie the Riveter.

Stacy Lazzara, a chalk and paint muralist from South Elgin, designed the 16-foot-wide piece with imagery from photos and thank-you cards sent to employees at the Winfield hospital.

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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