For Chicago’s Kids, Mentors Build New Skills and Lifelong Resilience

Running, healthy eating, LGBTQ heritage: Mentors connect Chicago kids w/new futures #ChiTrustActingUp Tweet This

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The value of a good mentor is impossible to measure.

The lasting effects of the guidance we receive often extend far past the length of any lesson given—which is why the Acting Up Awards support those who reach into the lives of youths and families in Chicago to help them fulfill their potential. This group of award winners are all involved with programs that focus on developing people’s self-reliance and confidence to make their way in the world.


Eat Healthy, Be Healthy

The P.U.M.P.S. (Providing U Motivation to Pursue Success) program teaches students from the Auburn Gresham area to shop for and cook healthy meals through their health and nutrition program. By showing young people how to manage their diet and health, this program builds self-esteem and self-image, and teaches conflict resolution while providing these students the guidance to become happier, more productive members of society.


Importance of Interaction, Parent Night

Chicago Children’s Museum is using its award to sponsor workshops and family days designed to help parents connect with their kids, and understand the importance of quality time with their family. The museum is also offering free three-month memberships to families who return and implement the development skills they learn in the workshops.


Queer Heritage Exchange

This idea connects Lurie Children’s Hospital’s LGBT youth program with Center on Halsted’s new LGBT retirement center to develop a storytelling workshop. The project will create the opportunity for youth engagement, as well as developing intergenerational connections through community narratives that work to build a record of queer heritage.


Student Community Summer Project

The award to Club StuCo is paying for athletic equipment at Swift Elementary’s after-school club in Edgewater. Working with students in a fun environment where kids can open up allows adult mentors opportunities to connect with them, and to work with them on teamwork and leadership skills through “secret mentoring.” The equipment provided by the grant will also help to replace much of the school’s current equipment which has reached the end of its usefulness.

Students Run Chi

The Students Run Chi youth mentoring project used their award to fund equipment and training for students preparing for the Chicago Marathon. Teaching the skills and preparation needed for a major challenge like a marathon gives the mentors opportunities to impart life lessons that the mentees will be able to apply to challenges they will face later in life.

To celebrate the inaugural Acting Up awards by The Chicago Community Trust and Goodcity Chicago, we are recognizing the 64 Chicago-area award winners who were each granted $1000 to take action on their ideas to make our communities safer, stronger, and more dynamic. The 64 Acting Up award winners come from across the city and suburbs, providing an amazing opportunity for the Trust and Goodcity Chicago to invest in actionable grassroots ideas making a difference at the local level.