Primary Clients

  • Throw It In The Fire

    The Express Performance Therapy program, founded in 2018 by UCAN therapists Dejanae Byrd and Deanna Pacelli, helps our youth explore new emotions and encourages self-discovery through acting.    For many of the youth, this is their first experience with acting, though some have dabbled with school plays. Express isn’t meant to feel like therapy, it’s… Read more »

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  • Mentees to Mentors

    At the very core of UCAN is youth development. It’s the underlying constant within each program, and of the tools used to support their development, mentoring remains one of the strongest and most effective. “Mentor” can mean someone who you look up to or someone you aspire to be. It can be someone who pushes… Read more »

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  • Voices Raised Stronger, Last Longer

    In 2002, lightning struck within the halls of UCAN. Three young men took their friendship and talent to new heights by founding the Uhlich Voices program.

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  • Mini Grants, Max Impact

    Summer means sun, fun and no school. But unfortunately, summer in Chicago also has come to mean a spike in gun violence in too many neighborhoods. In response, to provide youth with engaging activities in safe spaces that raise awareness of the risks and positively support youth, the MacArthur Foundation awarded UCAN 12 mini grants… Read more »

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  • Wahl Fades It Forward

    “It’s not just about cutting hair; that’s only one aspect of being a barber,” explains Garland “G-Whiz” Fox of the Education & Artistic Team at Wahl Professional. The Illinois-based company, famous for its grooming products, partnered with UCAN and His & Hers Barber School to create the Wahl “Fade It Forward” MentorshipProgram. Selected youth from… Read more »

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  • Charlestein Dantzler: Coming Full Circle

    “Before I found out I was pregnant, I had always wanted a baby, because I wanted someone to love me,” says UCAN alumni Charlestein (Charlie) Dantzler. “My mom claimed she was in the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) system, she said her mom was in DCFS, and then (my sisters and I) were… Read more »

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  • Ariyan Moore: Visible Man

    “Without UCAN I wouldn’t be in school,” says Ariyan Moore, who just completed orientation week at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Growing up, his experience with school was difficult. Though he has lived in Chicago his entire life, he moved around many times as a child, and attended five different elementary schools. Ariyan… Read more »

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  • UCAN’s First Annual Trunk Party

    For those unfamiliar with the term and tradition, a trunk party is a celebration where generous donors contribute items youth heading to college need for their dorm room or class materials — and on August 3, UCAN hosted its first-ever trunk party. Sixty youth from the community and various UCAN programming joined family, friends and staff in… Read more »

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  • Our Youth Are Going to College!

    UCAN’s youth are going to college in the fall! Some near, some far, but we will always be here to continue supporting them. This year, we are hosting our first Trunk Party. Each youth will receive a “trunk” of items to take to college, full of bathroom essentials, non perishable food, and anything they would… Read more »

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  • UCAN’s Kickback & Peacefest

    A dunk tank. Cotton Candy. Facepainting. A DJ. It’s not Ribfest. It’s not the Taste. It’s UCAN’s Kickback & Peacefest!  On June 27th, UCAN celebrated its inaugural Kickback & Peacefest at our Nichols Center in North Lawndale. Over 750 UCAN affiliated youth and families visited our seven-acre campus for food, music, face painting, games, raffles,… Read more »

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