Learn & Earn
UCAN's Learn & Earn program began four years ago when organizers noticed a gap in summer activities for youth ages 13-15; this age group is too old for day camp, but too young for a job. The program is for youth living in the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) developments only and combines morning educational sessions with youth career development afternoon sessions, aiming to reduce summer learning loss, increase academic achievement and improve the educational and career development outcomes of approximately 300 youth ages 13-17 living in CHA developments. In total there are 700 youth participating in the program city wide with five other family based agencies also providing youth and services for the program.
Another benefit of Learn & Earn is the summer job opportunity for college students returning home for the summer. The groups of youth are led by agency staff or college age youth leaders who have participated and graduated from some of UCAN's other programs such as Young Leaders Development Institute or Project Visible Man. Some of these youth leaders also participate in the administrative side of the program; maintaining order with registration and helping staff facilitate orientation. "We are proud to welcome Eddie Bland, 2010 Youth Leadership Award Winner and current University of Illinois student, back for another year as a part of Learn & Earn. He acts as my right hand man and keeps me organized. I don't know what I'd do without him!" says a Learn & Earn staff member.
Learn & Earn begins on June 27th and is hosted by Chicago City Colleges. Youth are divided into groups, and over the course of the program will complete four distinct learning tracks related to job skills and career building. The learning tracks include:
- Blueprint (e.g. skills assessment, skills/job match, educational institutions, company meetings, titles/salaries, resume/cover letter writing)
- Presentation skills (e.g. speech making, topic research, powerpoint presentation development, physical appearance, language)
- HR/hiring/workplace issues (e.g. interviewing skills, workplace harassment, employee evaluation, work/life balance, attendance policies, progressive discipline)
- Field Trips (e.g. company exposure outings, social interactions, cultural growth and exposure)
Learning and experiences will focus on the industries of transportation, distribution and logistics, technology/IT, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, and manufacturing. Each Friday the group embarks upon field trips that allow the youth to increase their cultural knowledge of the city in addition to gaining practical experience with the various industries under their study. Each participant is given a stipend totaling up to $600 for the summer; UCAN also works with the CTA to provide transportation for all participants.
For more information on enrolling a youth in Learn & Earn, please visit Youth Ready Chicago. For other information on Learn & Earn, please contact Lee Roe at firstname.lastname@example.org.