Stacy St. Clair | Apr. 23, 2013 | Chicago Tribune
In her heart, Nicole Lopez always wanted these opportunities for her daughter, Amani. In her mind, she never truly believed they were possible given their neighborhood and family budget.
At age 6, Amani Manning reads above her grade level. She attends a private school. She is even learning to speak Chinese.
"This is what I always dreamed of for Amani," Lopez said. "I want her to have a good education. I want to give her a chance."
Amani brings more than just completed homework assignments and her mother's hopes with her to St. Sylvester Catholic School on the city's Northwest Side each day. The sprite-sized kindergartner also carries the legacy of Declan Sullivan, a 20-year-old University of Notre Dame student who died in 2010 while filming a football practice on an elevated scissor lift.