24, Founder of Project sWISH
For McKinley Nelson, the vaccine is about more than protecting himself from COVID. The 24-year-old is taking his shot to get back in the gym with Project sWish, the non-profit organization he founded to combat violence by getting local youth off the street and onto the basketball court.
“Why did I get the vaccine? A little minute ago I wrote a lil note on here about going to more funerals than I’d ever attended during the pandemic, sadly a lot of them were kids under the Project sWish Chicago umbrella. If you know me, you know I always take the blame for everything that happens around me but in reality a lot of it was out my control. The shorties in the program just didn’t have anywhere to go. Schools were closed. Parks were closed. Gyms were closed. It was all bad.”
Despite the losses their organization has faced in the past year, McKinley knows there’s a brighter future ahead if we take the shot – for ourselves and our teammates.
“Everyone is in a rush to go back to normality, but first we gotta do the work. I feel like getting vaccinated is the first task at hand. Let’s create an environment where everyone around us feels safe and protected so we can unite like the old days. And ima keep it real, I’m 24… I miss outside. I know y’all do too. Let’s get back in that action.”