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8 Must-Read Books For Anyone on Chicago’s South Side


It’s Christmas Eve, 

Let the countdown to 2023 begin! 

I want to say THANK YOU for subscribing to Chicago Southsider and joining us on this journey to share the parts of Chicago’s South Side that don’t always get attention in mainstream media.

Chicago Southsider is an independent news platform that provides access and resources at no cost to you.  Your support will help us continue to provide free information and services to uplift our community. If you could share this newsletter with a friend or contribute to our mission, that will allow us to continue sharing information for free. Email us at hello@chicagosouthsider.com to make a contribution or advertise. 

Here’s what we have in store for today’s newsletter. 

Business: Must-Read Books About Chicago’s South Side that will elevate youBeauty: Monica Nia Jones wins America’s Choice Voting at Miss America Pageant. Brunch: Chicago-inspired holiday recipes you can try at home.

Now, let’s dive into all things Business, Beauty, and Brunch for the week.


Create Your Reading List. Learning about the history of the South Side of Chicago will change your life. I started off diving into the history of Mary T. Washington-Wylie, the first Black woman CPA in the nation, and the insights transformed my career. I’m so excited to share all the research, books, and documentaries I’ve been watching. Check out our list of must-read books, as chosen by our readers

Accounting Scholarships. If you or someone you know plans to pursue a degree in accounting, here are some scholarships to help you fund your education. Don’t forget to grab your copy of “Debt-Free Before Graduation” available on Amazon. I received a dual degree in Accounting & Finance from a private university, stayed on campus all 4 years, and traveled around the world while graduating debt-free. My book, Debt-Free Before Graduation, shows how a girl from the South Side of Chicago used scholarships, internships, and fellowships to graduate debt-free and gain access to unlimited career opportunities. 

Pass the Real Estate Exam in 30 Days. If you want to start 2023 off with a new certification, consider becoming a licensed real estate agent in your state. It’s not as hard as it sounds if you know how to study and what you need to know. It can take a year to pass your exam or you can pass it within 30 days. I took the real estate exam in Illinois a few years ago to learn what it takes. I enrolled in a course at the beginning of October and passed the exam by November 1. Learn how you can pass your exam in less than 30 days. Tune in to the Real Estate Latte podcast and get new episodes in 2023. Email us at hello@chicagosouthsider.com if you have any questions. 


This month, Monica Nia Jones competed in the 2023 Miss America pageant in Connecticut. She won America’s Choice Voting and landed a spot as a Top 11 finalist. Check out Monica’s journey to Miss America here

Monica is the first African American Miss Illinois crowned since 2002. Erika Harold, Miss Illinois 2002, went on to become Miss America. 

Miss Chicago pageant. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming Miss America, you can apply to participate in the Miss Chicago competition taking place on January 7, 2023 at the Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago. 

Miss Illinois USA pageant. The 2023 Miss Illinois and Miss Illinois Teen USA pageant will take place from May 26-28, 2023 at the Braden Auditorium of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

“You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.”


Image source: Anna Andres/Moment Open via Getty Images.

Love Chicago Deep Dish pizza?  We’ve put together a list of Top Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipes for Vegans During the Holidays

If you want to visit some Top Black-owned Vegan restaurants on Chicago’s South Side, check out our list created by readers on the South Side of Chicago. 

Before we move into 2023, it’s time to reflect on 2022 and celebrate our wins. No win is too small. Write down everything you accomplished this year to get you in the mood to enjoy more wins in 2023. 

Launched ChicagoSouthsider.com in November 2022Shared our newsletter content with over 6,000 subscribersProvided over 100 scholarship and grant opportunities through Scholarship SaturdaysCompleted first journalism fellowship focused on affordable housing in Chicago Transitioned our newsletter to Beehiiv Highlighted the history of Chicago’s South Side on Facebook LiveReported LIVE from the Go Getter’s Conference and Savvy Chicks in Real Estate ConferenceChicago Southsider’s work was picked up by Yahoo Finance and Black EnterpriseTook a tour of Bronzeville with my 81-year-old great Aunt Covered Chicago’s victories in the Miss USA and Miss America pageants

What are your goals for 2023? Plan ahead and make every moment count. Be intentional about what you want to do and where you want to go. We’ve compiled some events and recent news to help you create your game plan. 

If you enjoy this Chicago Southsider newsletter, it would mean the world to us if you let us know what you like most about Chicago Southsider and what you want to see more of. Send us an email at hello@chicagosouthsider.com.

Debt-Free Before Graduation Challenge 

Take a picture with the Debt-Free Before Graduation book (available on Amazon). Why? You want to create a vision of what you seek to accomplish. Look at the picture as often as you can and do what it takes to achieve your goal. Send your picture to hello@chicagosouthsider.com and tag me on Instagram @charlenerhinehart. Use the hashtag #debtfreebeforegraduation. You have to make the vision so real that it has no choice but to become your reality. Write a book review on Amazon after you purchase Debt-Free Before Graduation and read it. It’s a quick read with six-figure tips! The challenge will take place from November 12th – December 27, 2023. Winners will receive a Business, Beauty, or Brunch Gift Card and be selected during a Facebook LIVE in December and announced in an upcoming newsletter.

If you win a scholarship, let us know so that we can share in our next Chicago Southsider newsletter. We would love to congratulate you and share the news! Email us at hello@chicagosouthsider.com. 

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Get in Touch 

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