During a flurry of political unrest surrounding the Chicago school system, Real Chi Youth turns the focus towards the forgotten side of education: after school programs. Mentors in Chicago use after school programs to reach underprivileged youth. The programs make a noticeable impact on the communities they are seated in – Jasmine Barber, a mentor at Young Chicago Authors, says “If we didn’t have after school programs, there’d be a lot more graveyards to fill.”
After school programs like Young Chicago Authors aim to advocate for and strengthen young adult voices. Their programs give youth a safe space for them to understand their own worth. Real Chi Youth spoke with Barber to further understand how after school programs impact the lives of Chicago youth.
By Preston Robinson, Chelsea Berry, Grace Barry and Niecole Shipman-Banks