As a young Jewish girl raised in the south side of Chicago by Croatian and Slovak parents, Helen Manich grew up knowing that she had the tenacity to dream and accomplish extraordinary goals. She leaned into her constant curiosity to ask questions and was pushed by her family to be successful in school and beyond.
While growing up in Chicago during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, Helen benefited from a robust community of diverse families that held strong to their homeland traditions. When visiting friend’s homes during childhood, it was the norm to greet parents in their native language and indulge in the native cuisine of their country. Helen enjoyed a childhood full of learning and engaging her natural curiosity into other people’s way of life. To this day, the understanding of people’s similarities and differences at a young age has been one of the most incredible gifts of her lifetime.