The Founder- Darius Ballinger
Chasing23 started as a life changing decision for Founder
and CEO Darius Ballinger. Growing up on the South side of
Chicago as a young black man, raised by a single mother
can be a unique experience. An experience that
consisted of suspensions and expulsions, drugs and
guns, arrests and funerals, and other decisions that shorten life spans.
On April 12, 2013, Darius was facing a mandatory minimum of 5-7 years prison sentence for past convictions. He was offered a plea deal of 2 years’ probation and 90 days jail time. In that same evening, Darius spoke his last words to his mentor; he would find out the next day Wayne was fatally stabbed, gone forever. This life changing moment left him devastated but determined. Darius decided to make a change. A real, permanent, turn your life around change. One that would have a positive impact on both him and his community while always remembering the advice from his mentor Wayne. The result became Chasing23; Chasing Greatness.
Darius is now a husband, father. an undergraduate student at UIC studying urban studies, and active citizen in his community.