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Derrick Boetinner: It’s about dedication

Thu, Nov 1, 2012

Dedication is something Boetinner knows a lot about. Boetinner was first introduced to StreetWise by a woman who was walking down the street and told him all about it. He has been with StreetWise for 20 years now and has shown his improvement, not only through his profit, but through his knowledge.

Boetinner vends in the downtown Loop area near a Starbucks. But he has gained much more than profit working downtown. Sometimes he has more than 100 customers and has grown to have a relationship with them. “I have found peace and love with the community. I have gained knowledge and mind over matter.”

Boetinner has also found himself spending lots of time in libraries reading books. He goes to both the North Side and downtown libraries and is the proud owner of a library card with which he checks out books to take home. When asked if he had a favorite book, he didn’t hesitate to answer Of Mice and Men. Other hobbies Boetinner enjoys are puzzles, playing Jinga and sports. His favorite sports include football, basketball and baseball. But Boetinner’s pride and passion is his art.

Art is what Boetinner dedicates much of his time to. “I have copies of Picasso and Van Gogh and I interpret that.” Colors come first when he is drawing. Sometimes he sells his art, othertimes he has given it away to people for free. His favorite piece of art that he has drawn is an outstanding objective science art piece. His passion has also led to his desire to further his knowledge in the sciences.

Currently, Boetinner is trying to save money to reapply for school to further his education. “I found a job. I’m an intern at a care center. That’s as far as I went with my education right now.” One of Boetinner’s short term goals is to go to school, get credit hours and be a full time student. His main goal is to work in healthcare. Specifically, Boetinner wants to work in a laboratory doing blood work.

Boetinner has had to face some challenges and most have been all on his own. He doesn’t have any children or any other family members around. He has had to overcome his challenges one step at a time and alone without the advice of any relatives. “Standing, surviving, priorities, [and] choosing between right or wrong, that has been a real problem.” But with the help of some veterans and StreetWise, Boetinner has been able to get help and gain knowledge.

What was the best advice someone had given him? He said, “To find peace and love within you and to be considerate.” Boetinner emphasized how much love he had for StreetWise and said StreetWise is what motivates him. He is very enthusiastic about getting others to come to StreetWise He enjoys talking to Greg Pritchett, director of vendor services, and making some profit to help him stand up on his own. His advice to others to come to StreetWise was “to gain knowledge and find employment.” Boetinner’s knowledge is what keeps him going. He has learned to make changes in his life for the better and his passion for the arts is one way he has gained strength and confidence to strive to be the best person inside and out.

Nora Rincon,
StreetWise Contributor

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