2022-2023: A program to prevent violence and strengthen protective factors among youth in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago
From 2022-2023, we implemented the “Youth Learning, Exchanging, and Developing through Sport For Peace” (Youth LEAD) program in Chicago, IL in partnership with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA and the Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) on the Comer Education Campus.
The goal of the program was to prevent violence and strengthen protective factors among youth in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago.
Its objective was to use sport to create access to safe spaces, build positive relationships, and develop transferrable life skills and competencies among at least 200 youth.
It combined capacity development of youth and staff, youth-led Sport For Peace activities, and a system-wide integration of GFP’s Sport For Peace approach by GCYC staff.
Trained 25 staff and 20 youth leaders in Sport For Peace principles and best practices (24 hours total)
Supported youth leaders to implement a sport-based community engagement with 170 of their peers
Staff integrated Sport For Peace principles into their ongoing work at the youth center
Final surveys are still being administered and analyzed. Results are coming soon…
"I liked the training because I learned how to work in a team, collaborate together with my group and at the same time, have a good time with them" – Kira, Female Youth LEADer, Youth LEAD
"My biggest learning of the day was communication skills, I got to talk to new people through the day and plan an event for youth to help them stay away from violence by playing sports" - Danny, Male Youth LEADer, Youth LEAD
"My reflection from the activities today is how I can play a role in getting teens off the street. I'm excited about the event, meeting new people, and working as part of a group" - Brittany, Female Youth LEADer, Youth LEAD
"A main takeaway of the day is that communication is important to be able to solve conflicts in a peaceful manner instead of violence, as well as it creates a positive future for the youth of Chicago. On the second day, planning was an essential tool for a successful event so that we don't cause harm to others." - Rashawn, Male Youth LEADer, Youth LEAD