Chicago moves closer to citywide #youthmentoring

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New donations and more funding for Chicago’s youth services will help brighten the city’s future, according to local youth mentoring experts, and the money is slowly flowing in and expanding youth programs. 

Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man program has expanded to 16 more Chicago Public Schools on the Southwest Side with the help of donations from Exelon, a Fortune-100 energy company; Get In Chicago, a community advocacy group against violence; Peoples Gas, a utility company; and ride-share service Uber, according to a Sept. 22 press release from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The city is making strides toward reaching its universal mentoring goal by 2018. These donations will help the city reach an additional 2,000 youths by this fall, the press release adds.

So far, the city has helped 90 percent of its goal of mentoring 7,200 at-risk youth by next year—half of whom will be reached through Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Mentoring Initiative, which was announced in his 2016 Public Safety Address, as reported Sept. 26, 2016, by The Chronicle. 

However, greater resources are needed, said Jaleel Abdul-Adil, co-director of the Urban Youth Trauma Center, adding, “The city is under siege. Clearly the resources we have are insufficient, or they could be used in a more impactful way.”