Description & History

Our Mission
Midtown Educational Foundation, through its Midtown Center for boys and Metro Achievement Center for girls, helps close the achievement gap for Chicago's urban youth ages eight through eighteen.

How do we accomplish this?
MEF integrates academics, virtues, and exposure to the world of opportunity 
beyond the classroom for each child it serves.
Midtown and Metro programs engage parents and adult mentors in developing 
students of strong character with a desire for academic excellence,
 a college education, and service to others.

How are we unique?
MEF supports after-school and summertime enrichment programs for Chicago urban youth through the Midtown Center for boys and the Metro Achievement Center for girls. Midtown and Metro are "off-site" learning centers bringing together students from communities in need of educational resources all over the city of Chicago. We believe that a safe place out-of-school just for boys and just for girls creates a unique learning environment for the healthy development of a well-rounded child.

While programs for the gifted or for remedial students are more readily available, MEF targets the untapped potential of those often forgotten in-between: the academically average student and their parents. We believe that both focusing on the 'academic middle' and proactively supporting parents achieve real gains, further helping schools achieve their mission to close the achievement gap.

We believe that parents are the primary educators of their children, and consistent adult mentors are necessary for positive youth development.  At his inauguration, Mayor Rahm Emanuel implored, "Parents must get off the sidelines and get involved with their child's education. The most important door to a child's education is the front door of the home. And nothing I do at the schools can ever replace that." By pairing each student with the same mentor throughout the year and helping parents get engaged in their child's academic and personal development, MEF unlocks the potential for success.

For more on Why MEF, visit

About the organization

Midtown Educational Foundation

Glenn Wilke
Executive Director
Oscar Calderon
Volunteer Coordinator, Midtown Center for boys
Tessa McEwen
Director of Marketing, Communications, and School Relations
Christina Gibson
Volunteer Coordinator, Metro Achievement Center for girls
Organization’s website: