Mayor Rahm Emanuel Celebrates Over 32,000 Youth Jobs At Annual One Summer Chicago Breakfast

September 26, 2018

Youth worked nearly 3 million hours while gaining mentoring and life skills experience and improving their communities

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler today joined youth community members to celebrate the success of the One Summer Chicago (OSC) initiative at the annual breakfast held at XS Tennis. OSC provided job and internship opportunities to 32,223 youth this year, and participants logged nearly 3 million hours overall. One Summer Chicago has grown 122 percent since 2011.

“The young men and women participating in One Summer Chicago are earning more than a paycheck; they are gaining valuable life experiencing and making a positive impact on their communities,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Due to the hardworking participants in the program, more and more employers are eager to bring on young people across Chicago for programs that help set them up for a successful future.”

New to OSC this year was CHICAGOBILITY, a foundational track to support youth ages 14 -15 as they develop skills for employment and explore careers, self-discovery and self-awareness. CHICAGOBILITY is a six-week program, guided by a curriculum, with a focus on: community contribution, beautification and sustainability and/or safety through youth-driven projects.

This summer youth worked on a variety of projects ranging from building mobile libraries, to working on neighborhood beautification projects, to participating in tech internships and more. Through DFSS, the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), youth were provided with leadership and other skillsets by involving them in daily work to help beautify Chicago neighborhoods. The team collectively:

  • revived 150 viaducts
  • mulched more than 2,500 trees
  • collected over 760 bags of debris
  • cleaned more than 50 boulevards

“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 have has the program given more than 32,000 youth an opportunity to earn and learn, but we hope that the opportunity to make an impact on their community will leave a lasting impression on our participants.”

The City also partnered with United Airlines to bring its United Summer Associates Program (USA) to Chicago. In its inaugural year, the airline hired 20 youth to participate in a paid, eight-week summer internship to work in its core operational functions. The program provided mentorship and exposure to the not-so-known career paths within the airline industry. Chicago joins the airline's other major hubs in offering the program, including San Francisco, Houston and Newark.

The Citi Foundation is also in its fifth year of collaborating with One Summer Chicago, 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. In addition, Citi Foundation presented a check for $1,062,000 to One Summer Chicago at the breakfast this year.

“A summer job provides young people with the opportunity to develop workplace skills and gain experience managing their paycheck at an early point in their working lives,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “Our continued collaboration with Mayor Emanuel and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund connects more Chicago youth with a summer job experience. We’ve learned tremendously from our partners and youth participants over the course of five years and look forward to continuing to work together.”

Potbelly, a committed partner of OSC for the last two years, hired over 40 youth to work in their stores throughout Chicago. The company also continues to support OSC special events throughout the year.

As One Summer Chicago program continues to grow, One Summer PLUS, designed for at-risk youth, served over 5,000 youth, fulfilling a second-term goal by Mayor Emanuel. The Mayor launched the PLUS program in 2012 to connect youth at a higher risk for violence involvement with a summer job and a coach to support social skill building.

Since 2011, Mayor Emanuel has significantly expanded the summer program, more than doubling opportunities while diversifying work opportunities for youths around the city, with over 193,000 youth gaining valuable job training and work experience since the program began. While this year’s program was the largest youth summer jobs program in the City’s history, over 45,000 applications were submitted this year, demonstrating the capacity to grow these critical opportunities to meet the demand by youth. Next year, Mayor Emanuel and the City will again call upon One Summer Chicago partners to expand on this year’s success and to create more opportunities for youth to thrive and develop new skills.

At the breakfast the recipients for the Game Changer Awards and Youth Financial Capability Award were:

Maham Ali, 21, embodies the professional and leadership skills any employer would want in a One Summer Chicago youth intern. Maham was always prepared, punctual, responsible, professional and respectful of her peers and her supervisors. She was an amazing speaker at each banking orientation event held throughout Chicago. In addition to Maham’s professional skills, Maham is committed to making a positive impact in her community. As a first generation DACA student, she prepared an article for On the Money Magazine to help first generation youth excel at college. Maham also founded an organization at her college to support first generation students. Maham is a resident of Rogers Park and a senior at Carthage College.

Diva Jordan, 20, is an exceptional youth leader and healthcare advocate for her community, Humboldt Park. As a Community Health Navigator from Chicago Youth Health Service Corps through Alternative Schools Network, she conducted community outreach to bring health education and free health screenings to her community. Diva was described by her supervisors as an “excellent and inspiring example for other youth in the OSC program. In addition, Diva has been a part of the Chicago Youth Health Service Corps for several years and volunteers a lot of her time during the year. She is a resident of Humboldt Park.

Ivry Hall, 18, is an outstanding leader who demonstrated integrity, dedication and a strong work ethic to the trainees at Crushers Club in Englewood. As a Sports Assistant at Crushers Club through St. Sabina’s Employment Resource Center, he trained young boys between the ages of 10-13 to box, instilled discipline and structure as well as his values so that they could succeed in boxing and in life. Ivry used his personal experiences to earn him the honor of graduating as valedictorian from Tilden High School this year. Ivry is a resident of Englewood and a freshman at Alabama State University.

Natasia McGee completed all 7 Be Pay Day ready modules covering topics such as taxes, banking, direct deposit, banking, saving and identity protection. Natasia then submitted a short response detailing the financial management strategies she gained from this experience and then impact that these strategies had on her life. Natasia is now ready and excited to open a bank account for both herself and her son. Natasia is excited to have a bank account and use direct deposit because it is “safe, convenient, quick and will save her on check cashing fees”. The $500 scholarship will help Nakasia and her son as she pursues her Certified Nursing Assistant certification.

Marcus Warren changed the game for young people in Austin. Marcus stepped up to provide an amazing opportunity to teach youth Swift through Everyone Can Code Chicago Initiative. He encouraged his youth to think big to develop an app the world could use. When the youth were discouraged because the coding portion was challenging-Marcus reinvigorated them with inspirational sayings, never let them give up on themselves and provided strong technical support.

Because of Marcus’s dedication for his youth and understanding the importance of having access to technology, Austin youth can now create more opportunities for themselves. Marcus has left an amazing impact on One Summer Chicago and Westside Health Authority is proud to work together with him to change young peoples’ lives in our communities.

About One Summer Chicago:
DFSS leads One Summer Chicago in partnership with participating agencies including: Office of the City Treasurer, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, After School Matters, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Public Libraries, City Colleges of Chicago, Forest Preserves of Cook County, and Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.
One Summer Chicago also receives support from private companies including: Citi Foundation, University of Chicago Crime Lab, JPMorgan Chase, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, Obama Foundation, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, LRNG:CHI, Chicago Learning Exchange, Economic Awareness Council, TraceRoute, MHA Labs, and the McCormick Foundation.

The Mayor created the Infrastructure Team by convening the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to teach youth leadership and other skillsets by involving them in work to beautify Chicago neighborhoods.

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