Chicago is a city of many neighborhoods, 77 to be exact. Youth who live in those that are tarnished by the ills of poverty and therefore are also areas of low opportunity suffer a substantial impact to their social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and behavioral development.
Chicago Youth Programs (CYP) endeavors to serve the comprehensive needs of each youth with an asset-based approach that intends to mitigate risks while building strengths. How do we do it? By making a long-term investment for a long-term impact. This investment begins as early as birth and lasts until age 25, when we expect our young adults to have successfully completed their post-secondary plans and be well on their way to establishing a life sustaining career.
Founded in 1984 by Northwestern University medical students, what started as the Cabrini Green Youth Program has grown into an organization serving youth and families in at least 30 of the city’s 50 wards. What is more, CYP has expanded its reach during this time of COVID-19 response and recovery with the implementation of a virtual program platform. With this platform CYP supports ongoing student engagement amid changing safety guidelines, while also providing volunteers the opportunity to continue to support, and families the chance to engage in new and exciting ways.
Chicago Youth Programs believes in the pursuit of equity and access on behalf of each of our youth. We are reminded everyday how vital it is for young people of color to be allowed to participate and have learned that this participation must come in the form of equitable access to: Quality education, comprehensive healthcare, skill development, and career opportunity. To that end, our program model reflects what 3 ½ decades has taught us: Poverty impacts the whole child, so we purpose to serve the whole child.