St. Viator students interview veterans from recent wars for new book | MCU Times

St. Viator students interview veterans from recent wars for new book

This is Good News Sunday, a collection of some of the more optimistic and inspiring stories recently published by the Daily Herald.

When Madeline Dauphin listened to Craig Kopstain tell war stories from the desert battlefields of the Middle East, it felt like she was right there with him too.

“It really just brought the story to life. I could imagine the stories he told me in my head,” said Dauphin, a senior from St. Louis. Viator High School, which was not yet born when the fleet captain worked for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s central command staff during Operation Desert Storm.

Dauphin was one of 15 honorary history students at Arlington Heights School who spent months during the pandemic collecting the stories of local veterans like Kopstain. The first-hand accounts of 11 area veterans, as told to and written by the students, are contained in a new book published this month in time for Veterans Day: “Arlington Heights’ War on Terror.”

It is the fourth book of veteran biographies written by St. Viator students. Their profiles of those who served during the Gulf War and in Afghanistan and Iraq follow previous books on World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans.

Dauphin and other students who were part of the book project attended a panel discussion Monday at the Metropolis Ballroom in downtown Arlington Heights.

Greg Padovani, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee in Arlington Heights, helped connect students with veterans in Arlington Heights and the surrounding area.

“Veterans are just wonderful archives of history for your family and for the nation,” Padovani said.

For the full story, click here.

The South Barrington teen fashion nonprofit organization helps refugee women


Nurayn Khan, 17, from South Barrington, a senior at Barrington High School, started a nonprofit business that helps educate and hire refugee women to become seamstresses. They make aprons, oven mitts, blankets and yarn hats as they are worn by Nurayn.
– Mark Welsh | Staff photographer

From a young age, Nurayn Khan had an interest in fashion and in designing her own line of modest and organic clothing.

The 16-year-old Barrington High School senior began researching how fast fashion is being produced and realized that a lot of clothing brands and companies outsourced their workforce abroad to factories in China, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh and other countries with low labor standards.

“It was honestly appalling to me,” Nurayn said. “It was very emotional and heartbreaking.”

Nurayn decided she wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem created by the commercial fast-fashion industry. She channeled her passion and compassion into launching a nonprofit clothing company – with the help of her mother, Shazia – that educates and employs Muslim refugees as seamstresses.

The South Barrington mother-daughter duo started All Sorts Organic in 2019. It aims to empower refugee women and girls “one stitch at a time” and help them achieve financial independence through a sewing training program.

The women create modest, fashionable clothing for teenage girls, “incorporating a business model dedicated to fair trade and sustainable practices,” the company’s website states.

For the full story, click here.

The Elgin Bears football team has a chance to win a championship


Coach Shaun Hopkins (center) and Elgin Bear's U11 orange football team are heading to the national finals of the United Youth Football League in Plant City, Florida, in December.

Coach Shaun Hopkins (center) and Elgin Bear’s U11 orange football team are heading to the national finals of the United Youth Football League in Plant City, Florida, in December.
– PERMISSION OF ELGIN BEARS

A local Bears football team has the chance of a championship this season, and as one might expect, it is probably not the pro team in Chicago.

The Elgin Bears 11U orange team travels to Florida early next month for the national championship of the United Youth Football League. Players are 11 years or younger.

“I’m excited about them,” coach Shaun Hopkins said. “It’s like a dream come true for these kids.”

And it’s another dream come true for many of them. Eight of the 17 kids on the team won a national championship under Hopkins in the 8U division three years ago.

“This group is really special,” he said. “We are the smallest team in the league, but our heart is bigger than any other team.”

For the full story, click here.


A new mural at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield recognizes and honors healthcare professionals and their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new mural at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield recognizes and honors healthcare professionals and their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Brian Hill | Staff photographer

New mural honors healthcare professionals at Central DuPage Hospital

A new mural unveiled at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital has layers of significance.

It is dedicated to “health heroes” who have endured increase after increase of COVID-19 patients.

And it’s inspired by their strength through two grueling years of the pandemic. One of the four murals shows four hospital workers in masks and scrubs bending their arms like Rosie the Niveter.

Stacy Lazzara, a lime and paint painter from South Elgin, designed the 16-foot-wide piece with photos from photos and thank-you notes sent to staff at Winfield Hospital.

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday takes place every weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our great newsletter on Sunday.

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