Illinois

Illinois

Aurora

Triple Threat Mentoring
Triple Threat Mentoring is an independent non-profit organization working with urban under resourced youth of East Aurora. Our mission is empowering urban youth to develop confidence, character and life skills.

Carbondale

D.I.V.A.A.S.
Developing and Inspiring Virtue in the African American Sisterhood. Creating and maintaining a sisterly bond between black women, through mentoring on a academic as well as social basis.

Chicago

100 Black Men of Chicago
100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. is the premier volunteer youth service organization, mentoring African-American male throughout the Greater Chicago area.

ABC Polk Bros. Youth Center
One of the original three centers to form Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) in 1956, ABC Polk Bros. in North Lawndale offers a Continuum of Caring. Well-trained youth-development specialists give individual attention to youth to help them with academic achievement and social and life skills development. Following the Positive Youth Development model, the goal is to give members the tools, support, and guidance they need to reach their full potential through the following age-specific programs.

Affinity
Affinity’s youth programming focuses on developing the next generation of LGBTQ leaders. The Youth Leadership Institute Advisory Council oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation of Affinity’s youth programming.  There are currently two leadership development programs, the Youth Leadership Institute and the Junior Leadership Institute.

After School All-Stars
After School All-Stars Chicago is a nationally recognized after-school program that engages K-8thgrade Chicago Public School students in structured academic, enrichment, and independent learning activities.  The national After-School All-Stars organization emphasizes the need for 5th-8th grade participation in after-school, and priority is given to that age group.  The program is offered for a minimum 4 hours each week, 20 weeks per year.  Over 187 schools participate, serving over 30,000 students.

After School Matters
After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago teens innovative out-of-school activities through its science37, sports37, tech37, words37 and nationally-recognized gallery37 programs.

Alternatives, Inc.
Alternatives, Inc. is a not-for-profit youth and family service agency established in 1971, serving Chicago’s northeast communities of Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Lakeview, North Center, Lincoln Square and West Ridge. The agency’s mission is to facilitate personal development, strengthen family relationships, and enhance the community’s well being. The organization has grown from a small, single site offering substance abuse services to a multifaceted agency that employs 50 full-time staff, manages over 175 volunteers and serves over 3,000 youth and families annually.

As One We Can Foundation
As One We Can (AOWC) is a non-partisan, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization; it was founded in 2008 in response to the increased drop-out rates and spiking crime rates among minority youth. Violence and failure in school is closely associated with the lack of developmental opportunities that are available to students in impoverished neighborhoods. AOWC is focused on closing the developmental gap of youth in underserved communities throughout Chicago. AOWC has designed several programs that use visual and performing arts as a vehicle to teach youth to be creative, work together, reengage them in learning, and to be excited about being successful in life.

Beyond Media Education
Beyond Media Education’s mission is to collaborate with under-served and under-represented women, youth and communities to tell their stories, connect their stories to the world around us, and organize for social justice through the creation and distribution of media arts.

Blocks Together
Blocks Together is a multi-issue grassroots organizing group on Chicago’s West side. The Blocks Together Youth Council is interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline by organizing to replace zero tolerance discipline with Restorative Justice approaches in schools.

Boys and Girls Club of Chicago
Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago (BGCC) has over 30 clubs, as well as head start/child care sites, licensed after-school programs, and an office of employment that provides services for greater Chicago and its southern suburbs. During non-school hours, each club provides a safe, clean, and well-supervised environment where members can participate in programs that include health and nutrition education, literacy, childcare, computer education, after-school tutoring, team sports, and character and leadership development.

Build Inc.
The BUILD Model facilitates our most intensive work with youth to develop personal competencies, strengthen commitment to education and community service, and develop stable, productive members and leaders in their communities. Implementation of The BUILD Model begins with identification of youth who may be gang affiliated, delinquent, and/or encountering risk factors including gangs, violence, substance abuse, truancy, poor academic performance, or other negative influences that stem from their schools and communities. These youth are recruited and/or referred in the schools and on the streets to BUILD Core Groups, where they are engaged in activities designed to reduce risk-taking behaviors, set and reach educational and career goals, promote positive impact on peers, and encourage school retention and college/career prep.

By The Hand Club for Kids
By The Hand is an after-school program with an emphasis on academics and a commitment to nurturing the whole child—mind, body and soul. Founded in Cabrini-Green and located strategically throughout some of Chicago’s most impoverished innercity communities, where overcrowded and underfunded schools abound. By The Hand is filling a special need—and with great success. Kids are saying no to drugs, gang violence and teenage pregnancy. They are rejecting illiteracy and poverty as a way of life. Instead, they are developing into honor-roll students and changing the trajectory of their lives. When you partner with By The Hand, you are helping kids realize their full potential. In doing so, you are making a difference for generations to come.

Catalyst Chicago
Catalyst Chicago is an independent newsmagazine created in 1990 to document, analyze and support school-improvement efforts in the Chicago Public Schools. It is published by the Community Renewal Society (CRS), a nonprofit organization founded in 1882 that works to create racially and economically just communities. Catalyst Chicago believes all children should have high-quality learning opportunities that meet their needs. Catalyst Chicago holds itself accountable to the highest standards of journalism while holding educators, policy makers and other decision makers accountable for the impact of their actions on children’s learning.

Changing Worlds
Changing Worlds envisions communities that advance the use of personal stories and the arts as vehicles to honor the richness of its diverse cultures and foster a greater appreciation and respect of cultural differences. Changing Worlds believes in the inclusion and acceptance of the differences and perspectives of others, the power of art and personal stories to change perceptions and nurture connections, the ability to affect social change through teachers and young people.

Chicago Area Project
The Chicago Area Project (CAP is a private, not-for-profit organization with a distinguished history and demonstrable track record of over sixty years of work in delinquency prevention and service in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. The original mission of CAP has not changed since its inception:To work toward the prevention and eradication of juvenile delinquency through the development and support of affiliated local community self-help efforts, in communities where the need is greatest.

Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention
The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention brings together researchers, community representatives, practitioners and policy makers committed to understanding and reducing youth violence in poor, inner-city communities in Chicago—communities with some of the highest rates of youth violence in the country. The core work of the center is guided by the perspective that the most effective way to combat youth violence is to coordinate empirical “pre-intervention” work designed to understand the risk and development of such violence and to rigorously evaluate preventive interventions conducted both under tightly controlled conditions (i.e., randomized control efficacy trials) and in real world settings (i.e., effectiveness trials). Understanding that context is central to the work of the center is meaningful, in that the characteristics of the neighborhood and community are important in both reducing risk of youth violence and developing effective interventions.

Chicago Freedom School
The Chicago Freedom School provides a space where young people and adult allies can study the work of past movements, deepen their understanding of current social problems, build new coalitions and develop strategies for change. We support new generations of critical and independent thinking young people who use their unique experiences and power to create a just world.

Chicago Lights – Free Write Jail Arts & Literacy
Free Write seeks to reduce recidivism and help students find meaningful pathways to self-expression and further education through daily writing and arts workshops. The skills the students acquire through the study, critique and creation of poetry and fiction help them to make meaning of their own stories and to connect with the stories of others.

Chicago Youth Centers
CYC welcomes at-risk, low-income youth ages 3-18 into eight neighborhood-based centers and a residential camp where they receive one-on-one and small group guidance from well-trained, caring adults. Our centers and unique camp are oases of encouragement and support for children from neighborhoods where violence, despair, and failure are the norm.

Chicago Youth Program
For youth living in the underserved communities of Cabrini Green, Washington Park, and Uptown, CYP represents hope. Through a primarily volunteer staff, we empower youth to reach their full potential by providing tutoring programs, free health-care, recreational opportunities, cultural activities, and career placement services that promote whole-child development.

Chicago Youth Voices Network
The Chicago Youth Voices Network is a collaborative of youth media professionals working together to strengthen the field of youth media.By gathering leaders together for peer learning, advocacy and joint projects, the Chicago Youth Voices Network works to amplify the voices of our city’s young people, so that the important stories they tell through the media they create can catalyze positive change in their own lives and the communities in which they live.

COFI (Community Organizing and Family Issues)
COFI works to build the power and voice of low–income and working families at all levels of civic life. Through our intensive and systematic leadership development and organizing process, parents develop skills, confidence, and the organized power to win improvements in schools, communities, and public policies.

Columbia Links
Columbia Links is a journalism skills-building and leadership development program for youth and teachers in Chicago Public Schools, housed at Columbia College Chicago. Through workshops, mentoring, and the creation of youth-produced publications, Links works to build expertise, relationships, skills and opportunities that connect students, teachers and volunteers through journalism, in the process revitalizing youth media in Chicago.

Community Justice for Youth Institute
CJYI has provided intensive 4-day peacemaking circle trainings to more than 300 people in Chicago, throughout Illinois, and nationwide.  CJYI provides support to schools and community organizations seeking to implement restorative justice practices. We also work with staff of social justice organizations to promote healing, communication, team-building, and creating safe spaces for having difficult conversations within the organization. We advocate for community based restorative justice as a way to eliminate racial disparities in the juvenile justice system and restorative practices as a way to stop the school-to-jail pipeline.

CORE Caucus of Rank and File Educators
The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) is a group of dedicated teachers, retirees, Paraprofessional School Related Personnel (PSRPs), parents, community members and other champions of public education. We fight for equitable public education and hope to improve the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) so that it fights both on behalf of its members and on behalf of Chicago’s students.

Designs for Change
Designs for Change (DFC) seeks to improve the nation’s 50 largest urban public school systems, beginning in Chicago. DFC applies world-class research and policy analysis to develop reforms which address the most difficult problems facing urban schools.

Education for Liberation
We are a national coalition of teachers, community activists, youth, researchers and parents who believe a good education should teach people—particularly low-income youth and youth of color—to understand and challenge the injustices their communities face.

The Federation for Community Schools
The Federation for Community Schools works to bring together individuals and organizations who support community schools throughout Illinois.  Through collaboration, we promote policies that support quality full service community schools, serve as a clearinghouse of community school best practices and facilitate the professional networking of community school practitioners. Community schools have clearly demonstrated that by breaking down barriers between schools and their community residents, great things can happen for students, parents, and the entire community.  Speaking with one voice, the Federation and its members educate policymakers and the general public about the impressive outcomes of community schools throughout Illinois.

Free Spirit Media
Free Spirit Media partners with schools and organizations to provide education, access, and opportunity in media production to under-served urban youth. Through hands-on production of their own media content, participants build life skills in communication, critical and independent thinking, teamwork, and the use of technology. Believing that youth perspectives are a critical element of American culture, Free Spirit Media actively distributes student work to a range of audiences.

Gender Just
Based in Chicago, Gender Justice United for Societal Transformation (Gender JUST) is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational grassroots organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Allied (LGBTQA) young people, LGBTQA people of color, and LGBTQA grassroots folks developing leadership and building power through organizing.

God’s Gang
God’s Gang is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening the residents of the community with an all volunteer, staff. God’s Gang supports a variety of activities that enable youth and adults to choose a life of self-help at the same time they contribute to strengthening their community. The youth are engaged in urban agricultural and landscaping activities, as well as African dance and crafts.

High Jump
Welcome to the High Jump website! Since 1989, High Jump has provided innovative support to help students achieve their full academic and leadership potential. Participating in High Jump is a life changing experience for students, their families and their community. High Jump has made it possible for over 750 deserving young students to be prepared for, and to succeed in, some of the most challenging college preparatory high school’s in the country. We are proud of the work that we do for talented middle-school children in the city of Chicago and salute the teachers, Trustees, and staff for deploying effective programs that have made High Jump what it is today.

Hooked on Drums
Hooked On Drums™ brings the upbeat, inspiring rhythms of African djembe drumming from the Malinke people in Guinea , West Africa to kids in urban Chicago. We offer Hooked On Drums classes and youth drum performances through the Chicago Park District, local schools and community organizations.

Illinois Caucus of Adolescent Health
The ICAH’s primary mission is “to promote a positive approach to adolescent sexual health and comprehensive support for young parents”. The Caucus provides support for youth leaders, develops policy analysis, advocates and trains youth and adults. In November 2004, the ICAH issued a study of sex education found in Illinois public schools.

Jabez B.E.A.T.S the Streets
Our purpose is to engage youth in a Christian setting that integrates Biblical teaching and parental involvement. Our programs and activities nurture and support academic success, build character and integrity, and promote the overall well being of our youth. JMI strives to provide comprehensive and customized academic, social, mental, physical and vocational programs to meet the needs of our participants. Our work is done in collaboration with our community partners; our goal is to give youth an alternative to the social injustices that confront them daily, and aid them in becoming productive and successful members of their community.

Jamal Place, Inc.
Jamal Place, Inc. is a Nonprofit child welfare agency located in Chicago’s North Lawndale community provides a therapeutic group home program for preteen and adolescent boys who are wards of the state. Founded in 1993 by a group of educators and social service professionals, Jamal Place grew from an idea formed by five individuals, to a safe, loving and supportive home where children can thrive. This home, located at 1335 S. California Avenue in Chicago, opened its doors to serve abused and neglected boys in July 1995. In April 2002, Jamal Place expanded its program services to help older adolescent males by opening the DeAngelis House Transitional Living program. The boys and young men Jamal Place, Inc. serves are making remarkable improvements in their emotional, behavioral and academic functioning.

Jobs for Youth
Jobs For Youth/Chicago helps young men and women from low-income families become a part of the economic mainstream; and, in the process, provides the business community with motivated job-ready workers. Jobs For Youth is a free program for teens and yo
ung adults ages 17 to 24.

Link Unlimited
LINK Unlimited is a not-for-profit organization that provides educational services and mentoring to economically disadvantaged African American youth from the Chicago area. Through LINK Unlimited, academically motivated youth gain an opportunity to receive a quality private school education.  LINK also provides academic enrichment and college readiness programs to help ensure high school graduation and enrollment in a four-year college or university.

Little Black Pearl
The mission of Little Black Pearl is to create opportunities for youth and adults to deepen their creative involvement through the arts, cultivate their entrepreneurial skills and use the arts as a means for economic empowerment and community transformation.

Metro Chicago Youth for Christ
Youth for Christ’s mission is to participate in the body of Christ in the responsible evangelism of youth presenting them with the person, works, and teachings of Jesus Christ and discipling them into a local church.

Mikva Challenge
Mikva Challenge develops the next generation of civic leaders, activists and policy-makers. We do this by providing young people with opportunities to actively participate in the political process, because we believe that the best way to learn leadership and to learn democracy is to experience both.

Play for Peace
Play for Peace is a global organization, now in its 10th year, which brings together children, youth and organizations from communities in conflict. As part of our community development initiatives, we use play to promote relationships among people whose communities suffer from a history of cross-cultural tensions. Play is one of the primary ways that human beings learn.

Project Brotherhood
The mission of the Project Brotherhood Clinic is to provide the medical and social services necessary to improve the overall health and well being of the black men in our community. As well lay a foundation for black youth to maintain control over their own health. In addition to on site services, Project Brotherhood provides resources and linkages to other Chicago area services.

South Chicago Art Center
The South Chicago Art Center was founded in 2001 with these goals in mind: to provide a safe place for children after school; to bring arts education to local impoverished schools; to stimulate the imaginations of participants of all ages; to cultivate a sense of aesthetics; to boost self-esteem and intellectual curiosity; to decrease incidence of crime and substance abuse; and to promote friendship, solidarity and empowerment in the community.

Southwest Youth Collaborative
As a community-based organization with a board of directors comprised of both youth and adults, the Southwest Youth Collaborative strongly encourages young people and families to invest in the potential of the SWYC by playing an active role as a member and participating in the process for electing board members.

Springboard Foundation
The mission of Springboard Foundation is to provide financial and intellectual capital to selected, “grass roots” charitable programs that are focused on improving the lives of needy children, their families and their communities in the greater Chicago area.In fulfilling this mission, the Foundation also benefits the community by training its members in the workings of successful philanthropy so that they can in turn provide leadership in connection with other charitable causes outside the immediate focus of Springboard.

Street Level Youth Media
Street-Level Youth Media educates Chicago’s urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication, and social change. Street-Level’s programs build critical thinking skills for young people who have been historically neglected by public policy makers and mass media. Using video and audio production, computer art and the Internet, Street-Level’s youth address community issues, access advanced communication technology and gain inclusion in our information-based society.

The Black Star Project
Founded in 1996 by Phillip Jackson, The BlackStar Project is committed to improving the quality of life in Black and Latino communities of Chicago and nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap.  Our mission is to provide educational services that help pre-school through college students succeed academically and become knowledgeable and productive citizens with the support of their parents, families, schools and communities. Additionally, we help students aspire to post-secondary educational opportunities and training while exploring careers that will be emotionally, intellectually and financially rewarding.  Our services are available to all students, particularly low-income Black and Latino students who attend low-achieving schools in disadvantaged communities.  In order to achieve our goal of eliminating the racial academic achievement gap, we concentrate on three main areas of initiative: student engagement, parental development and advocacy.  The BlackStar Project conducts its programming and varied approaches to closing the racial academic achievement gap primarily through parent and student leadership development and advocacy.

The Ya-Ya Network
The Ya-Ya Network is a citywide anti-racist, anti-sexist organization and allies with the LGBTQ community. Ya-Ya is staffed by young activists ages 15-19. We work with other youth, adult allies, youth programs & activist organizations. We help groups & individuals connect. We share information & resources & we support the work that other groups are doing. All to build a stronger voice for young people in the movement for social & economic justice.

Totally Positive Productions
Totally Positive Productions is a nonprofit organization committed to engaging the youth and young adults of the Englewood, Back-of-the-Yards, and South Englewood communities in positive “off the street” activities. We conduct after-school programs, entertainment workshops, talent competitions, showcases, educational field trips and other events.

UMOJA Student Development Corporation
Umoja Student Development Corporation was formed in 1997 to link the educational efforts of Manley Career Academy High School to the broader community and to serve as an advocate for young people. As a model for school community partnership, Umoja provides the intensive services that most schools simply cannot.

Now also at additional schools, Umoja demonstrates that young people in an under-resourced environment do improve their performance and motivation when engaged in meaningful learning and leadership opportunities coupled with long term relationships with adults.

Urban Solutions
Urban Solutions (US) is a not-for-profit organization established in 1994.   Our mission supports the development of inner city youth by providing training and support resources designed to strengthen their academic, employment and life skills.   US implements programs designed to: build and improve the current academic skills of program participants, while also preparing them for college; develop the work and life skills of youth; and build youth leadership through youth development activities. To date, US has served more than 1000 youth, ages 15 – 19 years old, who reside in the Kenwood/Oakland/Grand Blvd., Woodlawn, Auburn-Gresham, Washington Park, Douglas Park, Chatham, Garfield Park, and Englewood neighborhoods of Chicago.

Voices of Youth in Chicago Education
Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) is a youth-led organizing collaborative comprised of students from 7 community organizations and 12 Chicago Public High Schools working in concert with them.  VOYCE builds on these community based organizations’ histories of organizing both parents and students around school reform issues such as creating a policy change granting in-state tuition for undocumented students, securing the construction of new schools to relieve overcrowding, developing schools as community learning centers, and more.

Young Chicago Authors
Young Chicago Authors encourages self-expression and literacy through creative writing, performance and publication. YCA provides student-centered, artist-led workshops free to youth ages 13-19 in schools and communities. Our process emphasizes artistic development, mentorship, and creating safe spaces where a young person’s life matters. We believe that through their words, young people can promote tolerance and remove barriers to transform their lives and society.

Young Women’s Empowerment Project
Our mission as the Young Women’s Empowerment Project is to offer safe, respectful, free-of-judgment spaces for girls and young women impacted by the sex trade and street economies to recognize their goals, dreams and desires. We are run by girls and women with life experience in the sex trade and street economies. We are a youth leadership organization grounded in harm reduction and social justice organizing by and for girls and young women (ages 12-23) impacted by the sex trade and street economies.