Youth in Action
Near West has officially launched its after school and summer youth programming entitled Youth in Action. Youth in Action is a collaboration between the Chicago Housing Authority and Near West Side Community Development Corporation to bring programs including sport and non-sport curriculums to keep youth positively engaged. The programs are located throughout four mixed income communities across Chicago. These areas included Oakwood Shores, Legends South, West End, and Westhaven Park.
Here is list of our programs
Creative Expressions - “Lights, Camera, Action”. Creative Expressions is a blend of drama, theater, and script writing. The spring session had three standout teens that took ownership of the exciting program. “I love Creative Expression. It gave me a chance to confront my fears of being shy and quiet. Now I feel better about talking to people and have more confidence”. says participant Janeisha Rhymes”. The teens were so committed that perfect attendance was achieved for the entire 10 week period. The Creative Expressions course ended on June 2nd, however the class will continue in the fall.
Boxing – Boxing is in the mid-stage of a 20 week course at Major Adams Community Center. The class has had up to 30 participants throughout the first half of the session. It’s a combination between true grit, determination, and a wealth of fun which has the youth and staff at the Major Adams Community Center buzzing about this program. Boxing will end on August 4th so there is still time to register. “I’m not coaching this boxing class to find the next Floyd Mayweather Jr”. “Characteristics such as mental discipline, self control, the overall skills of boxing, and the challenge my course presents are what motivates me to be here each week” says Coach Melvin”.
Dance – Chicago’s best urban dance team (FootworKINGS), recently seen competing on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, assists with the instruction for this dynamic course. Youth from the West Haven community have the best when it comes to chorography, skill, footwork, and just raw talent. Tee Jay, dance instructor for the program, has the youth excited and eager to be at the program every week. The youth practice hard and are determined to show off what they have learned at the end of course through a dance showcase where they will compete against the three other Youth in Action sites. The dance class will continue until August 4th.
Project ME (Music & Entertainment) – Jay Z, Mary J Blige, Beyonce, and Kanye West, are just a few of the mega pop and hip hop stars in the world today. Most youth listen to their music, watch their videos, and aspire to be like them in some fascinating way. Near West, in conjunction with Triple O Multimedia Co. has created a comprehensive music and entertainment course for Youth in Action participants. Former recording artist and music professional Mr. Gravity, helps youth write songs, record music, and shoot a music video. What makes this class special is that it doesn’t solely focus on youth with musical talents. Youth also learn about the various careers behind the scenes. It teaches youth how to really make an impact financially in the music and entertainment business. This is one of the best youth programs in Chicago. “I love this class”. says Jasmine Brown – Westhaven Project Me participant.
If you, or anyone else you know has interest or questions regarding the Youth in Action programming, Please contact the Near West Side Community Development Corporation at 312 738 -2280 for more information.
BACKGROUND: Youth in Action serves over 320 youth at four Chicago Housing Authority mixed-income communities (Jackson Square at West End, Oakwood Shores, Roosevelt Square, and Westhaven Park). The program’s mission is to provide youth development activities to boys and girls ages 10 to 18 with an emphasis on teamwork, leadership, and healthy life choices. Youth in Action offers sports, like basketball and boxing, in addition to artistic and academic activities such as dance, drama/playwriting, Science Exploration! and Project Me, a music and entertainment program. Each Youth in Action program incorporates mentoring so as to build self-esteem, confidence, and healthy body image among urban youth.