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How do you break the cycle of generational poverty? It takes a courageous and proven model.
12.5 YEARS
NO MATTER WHAT

Impacting generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors.

Chicago SPOTLIGHT

NO MATTER WHAT IN ACTION

One Child. One Friend. 12.5 Years, No Matter What.

Impacting generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors.

 
Friends-Chicago Receives $999,943 Grant from Cook County Health
 
Friends-Chicago Featured in Chicago Sun-Times
 
"I see me" - The Magic of Representation

OUR METHOD

We select children who face multiple systemic obstacles. We amplify their voices as they write their own stories of hope and resilience.

OUR MODEL

We commit to each child for the long-term. 12.5 years, no matter what. Each child is paired with a paid professional mentor called a Friend.

Our Outcomes

92%
of youth go on to enroll in post-secondary education, serve our country or enter the workforce.
83%
of youth earn a high school diploma or a GED.
93%
of youth remain free from juvenile justice system involvement.
98%
of youth wait to parent until after their teen years.

Partners

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the land on which we work is part of the ancient homeland and traditional territories of the Peoria, Bodwéwadmi (Potawatomi), Myaamia, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Kaskaskia, and Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) peoples. The region has also long been a center for Indigenous people to gather, trade, and maintain kinship ties. Today, one of the largest urban Indigenous communities in the United States resides in Chicago. Members of this community continue to contribute to the life of this city and to celebrate their heritage, practice traditions, and care for the land and waterways. We honor the Peoria, Bodwéwadmi (Potawatomi), Myaamia, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Kaskaskia, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) peoples and other caretakers of these lands and waters, the elders who lived here before, the Indigenous today, and the generations to come.