CHICAGO - A Chicago police officer is rolling up his sleeves and working with kids to grow their future. After working as a resource officer in Chicago Public Schools, he decided to offer at-risk Chicago youth an opportunity to look beyond their neighborhood.
"A lot of people look at our young people and see and think that our kids are bad. I always say our kids aren't bad, they just haven't met the right person yet to show them something different," said Kenneth Griffin, a Chicago police officer and founder of "No Matter What’.
Eight years ago, Griffin created the non-profit, starting with a community garden when the Englewood Whole Foods closed down.
"I taught them how to build garden beds and how to build a fence," he said.
Last month, he took fifteen Chicago Public School students to Ireland to broaden their horizons.
"There's a couple differences, like they drive on the opposite side of the road and they have different cuisine," said sixteen-year-old Darryl Pearman who went on the trip and conquered his fear of flying.
"It brings me joy because it shows that there are people out there that really care about the youth," said Pearman.
Eighteen-year-old Rachel Brooks enjoys her time meeting like-minded youth.
"You won't really meet any police officers willing to do things and work with kids as much as Chef Kenneth has," she said.
The non-profit just acquired a new building, a gift from the Cook County Land Bank, to assist more youth who are ripe for guidance and a trusted connection, no matter what.
"It makes me feel appreciated and important," said seventeen-year-old Alexandra Colekarty.
"No matter what you go through and no matter what you see in your everyday life, you can make it," said Officer Griffin.