Since 2014, we have worked to develop a problem-based learning curriculum that teaches and encourages youth to take a greater, more meaningful, stake in the processes that lead to positive changes in the neighborhoods where they live, go to school, work, and play.
Young people understand technology and adapt well to its advancement. They benefit from it as a means to learn, communicate, and entertain. They build virtual communities online and even work to maintain them. However, young people are unlikely to understand why the real-life neighborhoods they live in succeed or fail and how they could play a role in their future. Participation is low and there is a sense of widespread apathy. “Why should I get involved when no one will listen or take me seriously?” At the same time their minds are full of raw ideas about how their neighborhood could be a better, more attractive, more fun, less dangerous place to live.
What if young people were taught what components shape a neighborhood and what factors make them fail or succeed? What if they were shown how to amplify their voice? Would they take advantage? What if they were taught how to use technology in order to build, substantiate, and share
their ideas? Would they be energized and incentivized to play a bigger role in the future of their neighborhoods? Educators and best practitioners will create access points and gateways to learning that will motivate action and incentivise continued civic participation and activism.
What We've Achieved
57 youth authored and driven digital campaigns advocating for positive change throughout the City of Chicago.
These campaigns are active in 37 different Chicago neighborhoods and affect 27 different aldermanic wards.
8,168 citizens have viewed the campaigns.
1,057 supporters from around the City of Chicago.