Opportunities for Youth
Students Blog Now for Be You Be Healthy
Mikva Challenge invites Chicago youth to be a part of an exciting new project! Starting December 1st, Mikva will collect and publish student-created blog posts related to the health and wellness of Chicago youth. We want to encourage a broad and inclusive discussion: this blog will be the place for young people to talk about, sexual health, relationships, family issues, juvenile justice, nutrition, flu season and more. The author of each published blog post will receive a $25 Target gift card. Every month, the young person whose post receives the most traffic will get an iPod Nano. Click the flier below and/or email email@example.com for more information. Be_You_Be_Healthy_info.docx (23 KB)
If I Had a Trillon Dollars
The fourth annual "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" Youth Film Festival, organized by the American Friends' Service Committee, asks young people under the age of 23, "If you had a trillion dollars, how would you spend it to change your community, your country, and your world?" AFSC wants youth to engage with how our country's spending decisions impact their lives, and whether or not those decisions reflect young people's priorities. Videos must be under 3 minutes long and entries are due by January 11, 2014. Selected videos will be curated into the IHTD 2014 Film Festival, held in Washington D.C. in the spring, and those filmmakers will be invited to join them in D.C. The film festival consists of a youth leadership training, public and congressional screenings of selected IHTD films, and a social gathering for IHTD participants. Visit ihtd.org for the contest guidelines, activities on the issues, and everything else you need to know to get started.
Metra Safety Poster and Essay Contest
Metra has been conducting its Safety Poster and Essay Contest since 2007 to help promote safe behaviors around trains and railroad tracks - especially among the region's children. The contest is open to all students in grades K through 12 living or attending school in the railroad's six-county service area. This year's deadline for all entries is Jan. 31, 2014. The theme for the 2013-2014 edition of the contest is "Get Smart: Look, Listen Live." The contest is a key part of Metra's ongoing effort to increase public awareness about lifesaving safety practices. In the poster division of the contest, a first-, second- and third-place winner will be selected from each grade, K-12, and awarded the following prizes:
First Place: iPad
Second Place: $250 gift card
Third Place: $100 gift card
Students are also encouraged to enter the contest's essay division and describe in 300 words or less why it is important to "Get Smart" when they are near trains and railroad tracks. A winner will be selected from three divisions: grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12 and will also receive an iPad. For more information about the contest rules and guidelines, as well as downloadable entry forms, logos, and poster templates, click here and/or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Mikva Challenge Peace Action Grants
Mikva Challenge is excited to announce the Peace Action Grant Project. This project, supported by a generous donation by the Goulding Foundation, provides youth groups with up to $2000 to lead peace projects in their schools or communities. Jonathan Harvey and Douglas Thurman, the Mikva alumni who helped design this grant program, say that "Youth violence is a huge issue in Chicago. Mikva Challenge and our supporters believe that there is a lot more we can do to reduce violence if we are willing to listen and support our young peace makers. We are hopeful that through these grants some young lives can be saved this year and in the future."
Youth groups can apply for this grant as part of a school or organization or on their own. Grants will be disbursed monthly in amounts ranging from $250-$2000. (Mikva Challenge Alumni will be determining which projects will be funded.) To be eligible for the next round of grant funding, applications must be submitted by December 31st. Click below to download an application; for any questions, please contact email@example.com. Peace_Action_Grant_Application.docx (109 KB)
FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students (And the Adults Who Help Them)
The Center for New York City Affairs has published a friendly, new guide for high school students who are applying to college and beginning their all-important quest for financial aid: FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students (And the Adults Who Help Them). The guide was designed to be useful to students, families and the many caring adults in New York City public schools and communities who help families navigate the U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The guide was made possible with support from the Capital One Foundation, which is committed to empowering students and providing resources for their academic futures. Click here to learn more and download the guide.
Read and Write for the Mockingbird Times
The only publication of its kind, the Mockingbird Times is a monthly newspaper designed and written by youth who have experienced the challenges of foster care and/or homelessness. This forum for self-expression, the award-winning paper is filled with articles, essays, poetry, art and photography. It is produced by a staff of about 15 to 20 individuals, ranging in age from 14-23, each of whom is paid well above the minimum wage for their contribution.
The Mockingbird Times offers a print and online platform for youth to share their unique insights and experiences, while highlighting reform issues that are important to youth who have grown up in the system. With a well-established distribution that covers every state, the publication is a crucial vehicle for public education and advocacy.
The Mockingbird Times is always looking for new writers, artists and photographers from around the country to contribute to the paper. We welcome submissions from young people who have experienced the foster care system and/or homelessness and pay between $20 and $25 per published piece. Click here for more information.
nextSCHOLARS: College Readiness Program
nextSCHOLARS is a unique and comprehensive program that prepares students for the college admission process. This FREE program is open to any junior in the Chicago Area who has a minimum GPA of 2.5 or an ACT score of 18 or higher. Students meet twice a month and attend 10 workshops on essay writing, interviewing skills, social networking and professional dressing for college interviews. For more information, click here or call or e-mail Candace Willis, Program Assistant at (773) 451-3610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making the Transition to College
Making the transition from high school to college can be difficult. The good news is that you're starting over fresh and will have a lot more freedom. There will also be some big decisions to make mostly on your own. Because what you do in college will affect you throughout your life, you will want to do your best, especially in your first year of college, to prepare for your future studies, experiences, financial aid options and future career opportunities. Click the icon below for some ideas from After School Matters that will help you plan ahead for college and prepare for your first year in college.
Making_the_Transition_from_High_School_to_College. (37 KB)
College and Career Web Resources from ASM
The staff at After School Matters have compiled an extensive list of helpful links for students considering what their post-secondary steps will be - including financial planning tips, scholarship sources, college prep and planning advice/resources and more. Click the icon below to download the list. Post_Secondary_web_resources.doc (55 KB)
DREAM Act Resources
Loyola's Center for Urban Reseach and Learning has gathered several resources that are notable and worth sharing with undocumented students in case you haven't seen them already. Click here to visit their site.
Latino students seeking tips for seeking and applying for college financial aid opportunities can check out New Futuro, a new site filled with articles and videos dedicated to this topic. Click here to access the site.
Global Citizen Year
Global Citizen Year is a premier global bridge year program designed to unleash the potential of the next generation of young Americans as authentic leaders and effective agents of change. Each year, we recruit and train a diverse corps of high-potential graduating seniors and support them through a bridge year of service learning and leadership training in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Through a world-class training and individual apprenticeships, our Fellows develop the skills and perspectives they need to succeed in college, careers, and a global economy. We invest in emerging leaders because we know that young people who have the opportunity to explore the world, and their role within it, approach the future with the passion and purpose they need to make an impact - on our nation and our world. For more information, or to apply, click here and scroll down to the bottom to find the Global Citizen Year link.
CABET Career and College Placement Services
The CABET Group is a non profit organization looking to assist unemployed high school seniors with:
- completing their high school education and planning and transitioning into college at the lowest cost to each student
- obtaining scholarship funding
- obtaining paid and unpaid internship opportunities
Fundraising Tips for Undocumented Students
Dr. Paz Maya Oliverez writes a blog intended to provide guidance, information, and support for undocumented high school and college students in their pursuit of higher education, as well as other first-generation college-goers who desire useful tools for moving successfully through the college pipeline. Her latest post offers tips for how students can build and distribute their own fundraising portfolio. Click here to visit the site.
Youth Ready Chicago
Youth Ready Chicago connects young people, ages 14 - 21, with internships, apprenticeships and jobs within Chicago's public and private business sectors, including Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, After School Matters, Chicago Housing Authority and the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. Each opportunity offers youth hands-on experience and an opportunity to gain marketable skills, supporting a successful transition from school into the workforce. To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Must be between 14 and 21 at the time of the application
- Must live in the City of Chicago with a valid mailing address
- Must have a social security number or a number that is legally allowed to replace a social security number for the purposes of employment
- Must provide a guardian's signature for applicants under the age of 18 at the time of application.
For more information and to access the online application, click here.
Mentoring-Plus-Jobs is a new effort to train and employ youth in their communities to address challenges they see in their own neighborhoods through a collaborative with the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, and community partners. If you'd like...
- To create a positive change in the community
- To work with other youth and adults in a team setting
- To develop valuable leadership skills
- To learn communication skills
- To learn "real world" job skills
- To develop problem-solving skills
- And to get paid while influencing peers all in a fun and learning way,
this program is for you. Click below for a list of contacts (if you have questions) and to download an application for this program.
MentorJobsPlusContacts.docx (18 KB)
Mentors-Plus-Jobs_Application.docx (34 KB)
Student Support and Mentoring
Every Future is a non-profit organization that targets high-performing low-income students who aspire to go to college. EF works with partner schools to choose 10 to 15 juniors, provide them with a free high quality ACT prep, and then pairs students with professional mentors who work one-on-one with students to choose schools, write college essays, and complete the scholarship/financial aid process. Through this program, EF increases ACT scores, helps students go to more competitive colleges, and helps support the heavy work load of college counselors. EF is currently looking for two additional schools to begin working with this winter. To learn more, contact Jordan Litwin at email@example.com.
Scholarship Directories for Undocumented Students
The following websites will help you and your students identify scholarships that may not consider citizenship status as a requirement for eligibility:
MALDEF: National list of scholarships that may not inquire about immigration status. Has not been updated recently but provides a good starting point.
Latino College Dollars: Scholarship search engine for Latino students that includes whether citizenship status is a criteria or not
Get Ready For College: The MN Office of Higher Education has a good web page for undocumented students along with a scholarship directory
FinAid.org: Great financial aid resource. Has a comprehensive page for undocumented students.
College Board: Has web page on how to advise undocumented students.