National Impact Community: Chicago, IL

Youth Guidance (BAM) and Thrive Chicago

https://www.youth-guidance.org/

About the Applicant

In 1962, the Church of Mission Help merged with an agency serving boys in family court to become Youth Guidance Youth Services. Youth Guidance creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education, and ultimately succeed in school and in life. Youth Guidance impacts more than 8,000 youth each year through programs that meet students where they are physically, socially, and emotionally, helping them break cycles of violence, overcome life and academic obstacles, make positive choices, and remain on track for future success.

About the Project

This is a joint partnership between Youth Guidance, which creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education, and ultimately succeed in school and in life, and Thrive Chicago, a collective impact initiative which engages a diverse group of leaders from the nonprofit, business, government, education and philanthropy sectors working toward one common agenda: to prepare all Chicago youth for a vibrant future.

Together, their reach is formidable—Youth Guidance impacts more than 8,000 youth each year through programs that meet students where they are physically, socially, and emotionally, helping them break cycles of violence, overcome life and academic obstacles, make positive choices, and remain on track for future success, and Thrive Chicago has brought together 600 individuals representing nearly 200 child and youth serving organizations to accomplish the shared objective of supporting Chicago youth from “cradle-to-career.”

Mid-Year Update

Youth Guidance, in partnership with Thrive Chicago, is advancing two trajectories benefiting boys and young men of color in Chicago.

The nationally recognized Becoming a Man program in Chicago has expanded to serve four schools on Chicago’s South Side. These schools have each been provided a full-time Becoming a Man Counselor who is delivering the program’s empirically proven curriculum to a total of 204 young men between seventh and twelfth grades. During the COVID pandemic, BAM provided increased one-on-one virtual connections along with virtual circles, and responded to the disproportionate impacts of COVID as many young people and their families faced financial and health challenges.

At the same time, Youth Guidance, in partnership with Thrive Chicago, has been working to create an infrastructure that will guide young people to success after high school. With the MBK Action Plan as a blueprint, Youth Guidance and Thrive Chicago will continue to work towards realizing the multifaceted goals of the MBK Impact Award—simultaneously seeking individual-level impacts at scale through Becoming a Man expansion and driving systems-level change through coordination and alignment of institutions in the postsecondary space.

Key Implementation Partners

  • City of Chicago
  • Thrive Chicago
  • Chicago Public Schools

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