Take Five with Linda Maiden: Safe Passage Worker
15 September 2023
Ms. Maiden is known as a “doer” with a positive attitude and a stellar work ethic.
Take Five is a series that highlights some of the many members of the CPS community who are going above and beyond for our schools. If you know someone who is making a difference, nominate them to be featured here.
Meet Ms. Linda Maiden, a Safe Passage worker who has served the Altgeld Gardens community for the past 11 years. In her role, Ms. Maiden helps ensure CPS students are safe while traveling to and from Aldridge Elementary, Carver Elementary, Du Bois Elementary, and CICS Lloyd Bond.
Ms. Maiden is known as a “doer” with a positive attitude and a stellar work ethic. When she first heard about the Safe Passage program, she felt compelled to apply, largely because of the ways gun violence had impacted her family. She wanted to do whatever she could to keep her community safe.
As a CPS alumna from Marshall High School, and a grandmother to current CPS students, Ms. Maiden has a long history with CPS, and she is deeply committed to investing in her community.
What is the best part of your work?
The kids! Since I’ve been here for years, I’ve gotten to see students grow from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade. I also love being able to lift up my community.
What is your approach to your role as a Safe Passage worker?
I’m a grandparent, and this is my community, so I see it as looking after my family. Sometimes kids will call me Grandma or Auntie, since I’ve been doing this for so long.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time as a Safe Passage worker?
I have so many. In the spring when the flowers were blooming, a student brought me a little bouquet. And a few years ago, Aldridge Elementary replaced its Peace Tree and we had a nice ceremony for it where all of the families and staff members came together to celebrate.
What is your message to other Safe Passage workers?
It’s all worth it! Try to remember this, especially when the cold weather hits. You are doing great work for our city’s children, and you are investing in your community.
What is something people may not know about you?
I am always dancing and singing to myself. When I was a caretaker for my dad a few years ago, I would always play the blues for him in the morning before I went to work. So whenever I arrived at work, all that music was still in my head!
I also love my job — I have a great team and management, and we get to serve awesome schools with staff, principals, and community members who work together.
23 February 2024
Take Five with Chrishan David, English and AP African American Studies Teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks High School
Two years ago, Ms. David became one of 60 educators to teach the AP African American Studies Pilot 1 program, offering students a rich introduction to African American history and culture.