The mother of eight children, Diane Latiker is a 30 year resident of the Roseland community on the far south side of Chicago. She founded the award winning and internationally recognized organization, Kids Off the Block, Inc., in her home in July 2003. Ms. Latiker was given the founding vision through her mother who saw how much the youth in her neighborhood liked and respected her daughter. Looking at the children who were always at her home, Ms. Diane saw future health professionals, doctors, lawyers, professional musicians, professional sports figures, politicians, and actresses, and the list goes on. Ms. Diane believed she could make a difference in the community, and with youth she came in contact with daily. She opened up her home to get these young people off the streets and involved in programs that would benefit them for the rest of their lives. The organization celebrated 14 years of service to children, teens and young adults in the city of Chicago. Kids Off the Block began with ten neighborhood kids and now has profound influence in thousands of lives through love, compassion, nurturing and respect.
Ms. Latiker is a CNN Top 10 Hero (2011) and a L’Oreal Women Of Worth Top 10 Honoree (2016). Her organization has earned national recognition as a leader for the enrichment, empowerment, and personal development of youth in the Roseland community, one of Chicago’s roughest neighborhoods. KOB's team of devoted volunteers are on a mission to keep at-risk, low-income kids off the block by exposing them to positive alternatives to gangs, drugs, truancy, violence, and the juvenile justice system.
Ms. Latiker founded KOB in her living room, and her home has been a safe haven for thousands of at-risk teenagers for more than a decade. Her open door policy is the invitation many kids need to escape from homelessness, gang life, drugs, fighting, and other negative influences of the streets. This safe haven of support inspires kids to adopt positive mindsets and behaviors that give them a better chance at a promising future and success in life. Through preventive initiatives, young people ages 10-24 have successfully identified and developed their innate gifts and technical skills, expanded their knowledge base about life’s opportunities, and have engaged their personal and recreational interests because of one woman’s selfless sacrifice and determined spirit to show how much she believes in them.
Ambassador highly recommends Ms. Latiker for youth events, business leaders and corporate events interested in helping to restore America's inner cities, racial reconciliation events, churches, non-profits and universities.