Capacity Building: VolunTEAM
The Chicago Plan focuses on leveraging volunteers in existing programs for youth and workforce readiness. However, through the focus groups and surveys that we conducted, two pressing concerns were voiced: 1) non-profits are understaffed and cannot take the time to recruit and train volunteers, and 2) organizations that would greatly benefit from the use of volunteers don’t know how to go about using them in a valuable way.
To help non-profits solve this challenge, we will help build their volunteer capacity by placing a VolunTEAM member within the organization. VolunTEAM members are retired adults, and semi-retired adult professionals, managed by Executive Service Corps, who will individually work with each community organization throughout the 9-month period.
They will act as volunteer “consultants” given the task of helping to assess and strategically grow the organization’s capacity for volunteerism including: board service, skills-based, pro bono, and hands on volunteering. Building organizational and volunteer capacity allows non-profits do more of the good and important work they are already doing in the community.
OGDC will also be an advocate for the non-profit sector, connecting this charitable work with different stakeholders. Our ultimate impact: to amplify and increase impact of Chicago non-profits.
Education Initiative: Success Coaches
The path that leads a child from birth through a postsecondary credential and into a career should be guided by a seamless educational system that helps children access opportunities and find lifelong careers. Yet today, there are many places along that continuum where Chicago’s children get lost – and in astonishing numbers. Despite some progress at all points, improvements in performance have come slowly, and not at a rate that will allow Chicago’s youth to participate in a global economy.
To prepare students to meet academic success milestones include reading proficiently by third grade, high school and college readiness, and career planning, OGDC aims to activate and mobilize resident volunteers to support students along this spectrum, from reading at a third grade level to college enrollment.We will work to promote a Success Coaches initiative though media and marketing efforts, to recruit a larger, diverse pipeline of volunteers to focus their energy on helping meet this challenge.
Volunteers will complete activities such as reading with third-grade students, mentoring middle-school students and assisting high-school students with financial aid and college applications. Our ultimate impact: College is a realistic option for more students in Chicago.
Chicago Youth Centers
Companies that Care
Instituto del Progreso
Lawrence Hall Youth Services
Leap Learning Systems
Little Black Pearl
Midtown Educational Foundation
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
St. Joseph Services
Step Up Women's Network
Year Up Chicago
Youth Outreach Services