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The My CHI My Future (M.C.M.F.) group, a product of Phalanx Family Services, met at Gately Track & Field in Chicago on March 20, 2022, to plan, strategize, and organize for the coming year. Pauline Sylvain, the Roseland Reconnection Hub Director for Phalanx, chaired the meeting.
Pauline shared the mission of My CHI My Future with group partners elaborating that connecting youth to engaging and safe out-of-school experiences can empower them to cultivate identities, build relationships, and explore future opportunities. M.C.M.F. was launched in 2021 as an online hub for youth to get connected to youth-centered experiences.
The My CHI My Future website aims to connect youth to experiences that spark and sustain their passions and connect them to peers, mentors, and new possibilities. Partners such as lEF, KOF Sky, NSF, Bank of America, Polk Bros. Foundation, Chicago Parks Foundation, Blommer Chocolate, Chicago LX, One Chicago Fund, LISC Chicago, Amazon, PNC Bank, Target, Chicago Public Library Foundation, and DePaul and Northwestern Universities are creating these new experiences to showcase the opportunities that are out there for youth.
The My CHI My Future impact report from September 2020 to October 2021 illustrates three business connections that they provide for the youth. These are connections across the city for the community and opportunities for advancement. They provide over 20,000 options to Chicago’s youth that allow them to pursue their passions and chart their futures.
The impact report also provided insight into the significant accomplishments of My CHI My Future:
- Offered 200,000 experiences to work, learn, and navigate the work field.
- Provided over 20,000 jobs for One Summer Chicago teens.
- Partnered with 224 community contributors.
- There were 45,000 unique visitors to their website.
- 473,383 young people participated in camps, programs, and out-of-school activities.
- Paid out over $17,000,000 in salaries and stipends to Chicago youth.
My CHI My Future enlisted MAPSCorps, an organization that trains and employs youth, to produce high-quality data about community assets in each focus community. The data will help the city and its anchor organizations to create and implement robust strategies to serve each community better. One hundred and fifty-two young people were hired through One Summer Chicago to survey the current landscape for each neighborhood to serve the area better.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot states that last summer, the My CHI My Future Kickback Series provided resources and funding to 15 neighborhoods to hire local youth to plan engaging activities for their peers. The initiative resulted in 230 jobs and 115 community events attended by nearly 10,000 residents, It also makes youth development, empowerment, a fun community-wide effort.
Joyce Chapman of Phalanx Family Services planned Youth Explosion to coincide with spring break at Gately Track & Field. Last year the youth participated in a mock trial, but this year that idea has been built out into a two-day event.
Day one of the Spring Break Jam/360 Community Justice event will be held on Monday, April 11, 2022, at Corlis High School (south parking lot entrance) at 821 E. 103rd street in Chicago, Illinois, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT. The 360 Community Justice program supplies a scenario for youth to act out and determine the best restorative justice solution possible.
Day two will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at the Gately Park Track & Field Building at 10201 S. Cottage Grove in Chicago from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT. Both events are free admission.
Written by Omari Jahi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Event: Phalanx Family Services; My Chi. My Future; March 24, 2022
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Frackle Media Archive – Used With Permission
First Inset Image by Ian Schneider Courtesy of Unsplash – Public Domain License
Second Inset Image by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu Courtesy of Unsplash – Public Domain License