Oak Park resident Raijean Stroud is one of five finalists selected for General Motors’ “Our Town, Our Heroes” program due to her work through her organization, The Bleeding Heart Project, educating others about heart disease.

 Beginning June 4, people can vote for Stroud and the others online at DrivingtheMidwest.com. Voting runs through June 18. The hero will be announced on June 19.

Stroud was nominated for the program by Sa’Rahm Stroud who described Stroud as a survivor. Stroud had undergone two surgeries for heart disease by 28, but is now on a mission to educate others, especially young people, about the risks and prevention of heart disease.

General Motors launched the “Our Town, Our Heroes” program in 2011 to recognize and reward unsung heroes who are inspiring and empowering others in their local communities. Every month, the program will narrow down the nominations and open voting of the featured finalists to the public to select the winner. The hero and his or her nominator will receive a one-week loan of an all-new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle and a full tank of gas. New to the program this year, the winning hero will also receive $500 in gift cards, and the second place hero and his or her nominator will each receive a one-week vehicle loan.

“We received so many inspirational nominations in 2011 from Illinois residents who are going above and beyond to better their communities,” Brian Goebel, General Motors north central region communications manager said in a news release. “We’re honored and thrilled to share Raijean’s story not only with her fellow residents in Oak Park but with the rest of the state as well.”

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