March 26, 2021

City of Chicago Launches 2021 One Summer Chicago Application

Application closes on June 11

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) today announced the launch of the 2021 One Summer Chicago (OSC) application. OSC 2021 will run from July 5 to August 13 and will include remote and socially-distanced, in-person job and life-skills training for youth ages 14 to 24. The application deadline is Friday, June 11 at Over 21,000 slots are available. 

“One Summer Chicago is one of the greatest youth-serving programs in our city, supporting tens of thousands of our young people every year through opportunities to pursue to their passions,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We are excited to continue our Youth Service Corps program this year as youth have stepped up throughout the pandemic committing their time and talent to strengthening Chicago’s communities.” 

For Summer 2021, young people will be compensated for participating in career exploration opportunities in fields such as coding and tech, healthcare, media and more. Returning this year under the OSC portfolio include the Chicago Youth Service Corps (CYSC), Everyone Can Code, Photography for All programs and more. 

“Despite facing unprecedented circumstances last summer, OSC youth were determined to flourish and focus on their future,” said DFSS Acting Commissioner Brandie Knazze. “From coding to photography to pandemic response, we remain dedicated to ensuring that every young person in the city has the opportunity to earn, learn and make a lasting impact on their community.” 

CYSC participants are dedicated to the core values of strengthening communities through civic leadership, working together to broaden impact, continuous learning, valuing youth-led advocacy and public service, and creating safe environments that celebrate diversity. Nearly 2,000 youth participated in the CYSC inaugural 2020 cohort with 83% of participants reported feeling that they made a lasting impact in the community.  

The Citi Foundation is continuing to support OSC for its eighth year in a row, with funding that has totaled over $7 million. The Summer Jobs Connect program, spearheaded by the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, supports young adults seeking summer employment and provides safe and appropriate banking products, services and education. Citi Foundation is also the largest private funder of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), a citywide program designed to employ out of school youth. 

“A summer job is a critical building block in helping youth develop employment and leadership skills, understand how to manage their first paychecks, and lay the foundation for a strong financial future,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development, President of the Citi Foundation. “Building on the success of OSC’s remote program last year, the Citi Foundation looks forward to connecting more young people with meaningful job opportunities this summer and helping contribute to Chicago’s COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.” 

One Summer Chicago is an integral part of “My CHI. My Future.”(MCMF), Mayor Lightfoot’s signature youth-focused initiative designed to connect youth across Chicago to meaningful out-of-school experiences. The MCMF family, inclusive of One Summer Chicago, the Chicago Youth Service Corps and more than 200 community-based organizations, is focused on strengthening the opportunity ecosystem in Chicago and galvanizing caring adults, all over the city, to ensure that every young person is connected to a meaningful opportunity.  

Last summer, OSC was the largest youth summer employment program in the nation with remote programming enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OSC partner agencies hosted online professional development cohorts intended to offer in-depth insight, resources and guidance for young people interested in pursuing careers in the host company’s field. More information on OSC is available at