Mayor Rahm Emanuel 2018 One Summer Chicago jobs program

July 2, 2018

Mayor’s Press Office     312.744.3334 |




 Mayor Emanuel Kicks Off a Record High One Summer Chicago Season

New ‘Block Club, Book Club’ program engages youth in activities that strengthen their community, builds civic engagement and helps create safe neighborhoods 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today kicked off the 2018 One Summer Chicago jobs program with a visit to the Le Penseur Youth & Family Services Center. The Center is one of nearly 2,000 work sites that are providing a record high 32,000 jobs and internships to youth ages 14-24 this summer, more than double from when the program first began in 2011. The six week program provides youth with valuable work experience while keeping them safe and engaged during the summer months. 

"One Summer Chicago isn’t just about a paycheck, it’s about pushing our kids to reach their full potential," said Mayor Emanuel.  "Year after year, our kids have shown that when we raise the bar for them, they meet it, and when we lift expectations for them, they blow right past it. The skills they develop will stay with them long after the summer is over, that is why we will continue to expand these programs to ensure all our young people are prepared for college, their career, and their future success."

Youth working at Le Penseur Youth & Family Services are one of several teams this summer that have been commissioned to build mobile community libraries as part of the new Block Club, Book Club program.  

The Block Club, Book Club program looks to foster reading by providing neighborhood residents with access to free books ranging from bedtime stories to fictional novels. The youth will collectively build 200 mobile libraries that will be filled with books and distributed to block clubs throughout the city. The goal is to show youth the value of working on activities that strengthen their community, help build civic engagement and create safe neighborhoods. 

Le Penseur Youth & Family Services is a partner in the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative and first began building mobile libraries to better serve the neighborhoods where its young mentees lived.  “One Summer Chicago provides us with the much needed tools required to best serve our young people,” said Reginald Summarise, President & CEO of Le Penseur Youth & Family Services. “With support from the Mayor and other city agencies, we have been able to accomplish amazing things for our communities with the addition of the mobile libraries, which will help restore the love of reading and gives us a chance to be a part of reshaping the future of our community.”

The Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative is a core component of the City’s public safety strategy. It lays out a clear path to provide the most at-risk youth with the support they need to remain on-track to graduate high school and avoid involvement in the criminal justice system.

Since 2011, Mayor Emanuel has more than doubled the number of summer jobs and has diversified the types of opportunities available to youth.  

New to One Summer Chicago this season is CHICAGOBILITY, a starter track that aims at engaging younger participants ages 14-15 into career exploration, self-discovery and self-awareness. Expanding this year is Apple, Inc.’s coding program, which will be providing 200 youth with the opportunity to expand their computer science skills and learn the Apple coding program “Swift Playgrounds”.  Additionally, 50 youth who participated in the program last year will be given pre-apprentice placement in a company seeking tech solutions.

“The strength of our One Summer Chicago program is that year over year, our partners citywide come together to do what is best for our youth,” said Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “Not only has the program given more than 32,000 youth an opportunity to earn and learn, but we hope that the impact they make on their community will leave a lasting impression on our participants.”

Returning programs include One Summer Chicago Plus and the Summer Youth Employment Programs.

One Summer Chicago Plus is a specialized violence prevention summer workforce program for high-need youth, ages 16 - 21, who reside in the highest risk communities. Recruited worksites will provide youth with a safe, well-defined experience that allows them to gain valuable work readiness skills.

Last summer, the University of Chicago Urban Labs study found by providing a summer job, through the One Summer Chicago Plus program reduced the number of violent-crime arrests for participants by 33 percent over the subsequent year.

The Citi Foundation is also collaborating with One Summer Chicago for its fifth consecutive year, with funding that has totaled over $4.5 million. The Summer Jobs Connect program, spearheaded by the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, provides youth with summer employment and financial education.

Under the Mayor’s leadership, the city has steadily increased its investment every year in mentoring and other youth programs to address some of the most urgent needs facing the city: keeping youth safe, improving school outcomes and reducing crime. In the past seven years alone, One Summer Chicago has more than doubled to meet the overwhelming demand for these programs, serving more than 160,000 youth to date with valuable job training and work experiences.

For more information, or to apply for One Summer Chicago, visit


About One Summer Chicago:

One Summer Chicago is a partnership with the following agencies/organizations to hire and place youth in meaningful summer work experiences. 

Department of Family and Support Services, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago City Colleges, Chicago Public Libraries, Cook County Workforce Partnership, Forest Preserve, Mayor’s Office of People With Disabilities, Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of Transportation, Department of Streets and Sanitation, After School Matters, Lincoln Park Zoo


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