Three organizations will help the Chicago Housing Authority with youth engagement efforts under agreements approved by the agency's board last week.
The agreements with the Mikva Challenge Grant Foundation, Summer Advantage and Growing Power will "complement the agency's 'Year of the Youth' campaign and support CHA's goal of keeping young public housing residents engaged in summer activities that support their development," reads a CHA announcement released Monday.
Year of the Youth is CHA's youth engagement campaign for 2016. The yearlong campaign "includes unique business partnerships, internship programs and youth-related programs that focus on mentoring young people and putting them on a strong career path to college and jobs," according to the CHA.
As part of the approved agreements, Mikva will help CHA in part with developing its inaugural CHA Youth Council. Michelle Morales, executive director for the Mikva Challenge in Chicago, said the council "will work on CHA policies that directly impact CHA's youth residents during its Year of the Youth campaign."
The agreements will also continue CHA youth programs provided by Summer Advantage and Growing Power.
Summer Advantage has a "Learn and Earn" academic enrichment and career exploration program for CHA residents aged 13 to 15. Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust dedicated to developing sustainable community food systems. Growing Power helped CHA start an urban farm at the Altgeld Gardens public housing development in 2010.
"Growing Power's youth employment training programs educate youth on sustainable urban agriculture while providing transferrable employment and life skills," said CHA CEO Eugene Jones Jr. "Last year, 130 youth participated in the agriculture program at Altgeld Gardens. Since 2010, 400 youth have successfully completed the program. It's one of CHA's most fruitful initiatives and we are thrilled to continue this invaluable partnership with Growing Power."