Leadership and Educational Organizations

Thank you again for your participation in this program, and accepting the Do the Write Thing Challenge. We encourage you to stay active and do your very best to continue to stop violence. Several Chicago area leadership and educational organizations are familiar with the Do the Write Thing Challenge, and admire your participation. Below is a small sampling of those organizations and I encourage you to check them out to see if any might interest you. You should also continue to monitor our website for additional organizations and information about Do the Write Thing: www.dothewritethingchicago.org. These organizations have their doors open to welcome you, help you and offer amazing life lessons.

Do The Write Thing Chicago encourages students to stay active and do your very best to continue to stop violence. Several Chicago area leadership and educational organizations are familiar with the Do the Write Thing Challenge, and admire the participation. These organizations have their doors open to welcome you, help you and offer amazing life lessons.

Please keep in touch with the National Campaign to Stop Violence by registering on our Stay Connected Program at: http://www.dtwt.org/stay-connected.


826CHI fuels a drive and boosts the skills for students to write their own futures, undefined by circumstance. We provide collaborative, interdisciplinary, and inquiry-based writing programs to Chicago students ages 6-18, free of charge. We believe great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. All of our programs are challenging and imaginative, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in their individual voice. By professionally publishing our students’ work in beautiful books, we provide them with a tangible product of their hard work that they can share with the wider community and foster dialogue and understanding beyond their peers.

After School Matters

After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago public high school teens high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Over the past 25 years, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based arts, communications, science, sports and technology programs both after-school and during the summer months. Programs take place at locations including high schools, parks, libraries, community organizations across the city and downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. Teens can search and apply for programs online at www.afterschoolmatters.org. Follow After School Matters on Twitter at @aftrschoolmttrs and on Facebook at facebook.com/afterschoolmatters.

All Stars Project, Inc.

The All Stars creates outside-of-school, educational and performing arts activities for young people. All Stars sponsors community and experimental theatre, develops leadership training and pursues volunteer initiatives that build and strengthen communities. Through their talent shows, they offer youth the opportunity to showcase their passions and talents in a supportive environment. Also, the Development School for Youth (DSY) is a leadership training program for young people that partners with corporations and corporate professionals to provide training experiences for the students and summer internships for the DSY graduates.

Chicago Tutoring Connection

Chicago Tutoring Connection volunteers meet with 7th to 12th grade youth for one-on-one mentoring, tutoring and group learning activities. Activities are designed to build social, team-building and leadership skills and encourage an interest in arts, technology and social service. Programs include writing club, video creation and production, arts and tech clubs.

Camp of Dreams

Camp of Dreams is an educational and cultural enrichment organization for youth ages 8-18. Participants meet two Saturdays per month during the school year at the AMC Center, located at 4421 S. State St. in Bronzeville, and are eligible to attend a summer camp which runs for three weeks at no cost. While at their Saturday Community Days or summer camp, the Dreamers take part in small group classes in four subject areas -- academics, athletics, visual and performing arts, urban gardening and mind and body. Previously offered classes include: poetry, canoeing, martial arts, painting and foreign languages. Their high school program is also offered during Community Days, featuring classes on critical thinking, problem solving, financial literacy, public speaking, civics and leadership as well as community service projects. High school students also participate in a weekend leadership retreat.

Chicago Youth Centers

Chicago Youth Centers invites teens, ages 13-18 years old, to sign up to attend and participate in a comprehensive variety of activities that are designed to improve academic performance in school as well as help teens develop strong life and social skills. CYC has a variety of awards and recognitions programs and support for higher education in the form of college preparation, job readiness and career awareness. The CYC-Teen Leadership Development Program is offered at CYC locations in Bronzeville, Bridgeport, North Lawndale and South Shore.

Christopher House

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is a free, anonymous, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 anywhere, anytime, and a live trained crisis counselor will receive the text and respond quickly. They will help you out of your moment of crisis and work with you to create a plan to continue to feel better. Your crisis counselor only knows what you text to them, and that information stays confidential. Please visit www.crisistextline.org for more information.

Dreams For Kids

Dreams For Kids Prepares Youth to Create the Future Today. We train and mentor youth as social entrepreneurs, providing practical education and contemporary job skills as they create social enterprises that provide solutions to society’s critical social issues.
Our core program begins with an 11-week curriculum that was created by nationally recognized entrepreneurs and academic leaders and is delivered through peer-to-peer mentoring and reinforced by professional mentors in the community.
Seeking: Students in grades 9-11, college mentors, professional mentors.

Girls in the Game

Girls in the Game provides and promotes sports and fitness opportunities, nutrition and health education, and leadership development to enhance the overall health and well-being of girls. The Girls in the Game After School programs provide opportunities for elementary and middle school girls to learn sports, health and leadership throughout the school year. Our Teen Squad program trains girls in grades 9-12 to educate adults, their peers and younger girls about the benefits of sports and girls’ health issues and to earn scholarship dollars in the process. Girls in the Game also offers one-day sports, health, and leadership events and sports clinics for girls in Chicago and the suburbs. Finally, Girls in the Game is enrolling for our Sports & Leadership Summer Day Camp for girls ages 7-13 and our Teen Summer Squad for 14-17 year-olds. For more information or to register, see www.girlsinthegame.org, or write camp@girlsinthegame.org!


Marwen educates and inspires young people through the visual arts. If you are interested in art and would like to explore drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics, fashion, video, and more, then Marwen is the place for you. Marwen courses invite students in grades 6-12 who live in Chicago and can't afford to pay for art courses to take FREE art classes. No experience required - just energy, commitment, and enthusiasm! To begin taking classes at Marwen, you’ll need to attend a new student orientation and registration. Please check our website for the upcoming orientation date: www.marwen.org

Open Books

Open Books is a nonprofit social venture that provides literacy experiences for tens of thousands of readers each year through inspiring programs and the creative capitalization of books. Through our Instructional Programs, we cultivate the literacy skills of thousands of children and youth each year, from those who need intervention to those who desire enrichment. Through our Book Programs, we provide readers of all ages with engaging, appropriate, and high-quality books. Each week, we deliver thousands of free books to schools and nonprofits across Chicagoland. Funding for our work comes in large part from the sale of donated books at our award-winning Pilsen and West Loop stores, as well as online and at special events.

Union League Boys and Girls Clubs

Union League Boys and Girls Clubs, founded in 1919, offer youth between the ages of 6 to 18 a safe place to spend out-of-school time in structured programming focused on academic success, good character and citizenship, and a healthy lifestyle. Our vision for each club member is that they graduate from high school with a plan for the future. We help them to reach their full potential. We operate eight Clubs in Chicago and serve youth in the Pilsen, Humboldt Park, West Town, South Lawndale and Englewood communities. Our Club members also have access to our Boys & Girls Club camp located in Salem, Wisconsin.

Young Chicago Authors (YCA)

Young Chicago Authors (YCA) is a non-profit creative writing organization located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. YCA serves students and young people throughout the city, through poetry and spoken word focused workshops, programs and open mics. YCA is also the home of the nation’s largest team teen poetry festival Louder Than a Bomb.
Every Saturday Sept. – June, YCA runs a free poetry and hip hop spoken word workshop, Check the Method. Every Tuesday year-round, YCA runs a free open mic and workshop, WordPlay. You can also book a YCA artist to come to your schools for workshops, residencies and performances.
Stepping into YCA, one will find a community of students, thoughtfully engaged in conversation and creating bridges that defy the constructs of race, culture and zip code.

Youth Guidance

Youth Guidance creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and in life. Youth Guidance sees a bright and successful future for every at-risk, inner-city elementary and high school student in Chicago. Because we believe that success in school is not only possible, but should be achieved and celebrated, we are present in the schools to facilitate an environment that truly engages students in the learning process, and through careful guidance, enables them to realize their full potential and graduate with a meaningful plan for successfully managing life.

Our Becoming A Man (BAM) program is an example of how we are making an important difference in improving school outcomes, preventing youth violence and promoting success with Chicago's youth.