By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Featured Articles feat-article-tray-tab

Chicago Urban League Provides Hands On Experience for 1700+ Students at 6th Annual Youth Summit

The One-Day Conference Welcomed Middle and High School Students from Nearly 25 Chicagoland Schools

On March 19, Chicago Urban League’s Youth Services Center welcomed more than 1700 students for the 6th Annual Youth Summit. This year, the event was held at the Tinley Park Convention Center for the largest Youth Summit, to date. Middle and high school students from nearly 25 schools experienced this year’s summit themed STEM AND Trades: A Hands On Experience, with STEM activities and growing trades as the focus.

The students arrived excited for morning and afternoon sessions taught by skilled professionals and focused on the following:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  • Braidology
  • Balloon Artistry
  • Carpentry

Two groups of high school students were also treated to Elevator Simulator sessions sponsored and taught by Otis Elevator professionals. During a brief presentation, students learned about apprenticeship programs at and growing careers within the company, as well as the behind-the-scenes view of elevator operations. To conclude the session, students were able to see what they learned first-hand with the simulator supplied by the company.

In addition to the Elevator Simulator, all participating grade levels took the first steps in learning the art of braiding hair and preparing balloon designs while also getting hands-on experience with carpentry and STEM activities with the help of volunteers from various organizations, including Cox Communications.

“As an organization, we aim to keep up with growing trends and apply what we see to our programming, and this year’s Youth Summit was a prime example of that,” said President and CEO Karen Freeman-Wilson. “To see so many students fully engaged in learning particular trades and participating in STEM activities was one of the many ways we get to see the League’s mission in motion with our younger generation. I look forward to seeing our youth grow and prosper through events like Youth Summit.”

Participating schools included Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, Urban Prep Academy Bronzeville Campus, Beasley Academic Center, Perspectives/ITT Math & Science Academy, and countless others.

When asked about the most enjoyable part of Youth Summit, one student answered “I liked the STEM activity because I was in a group with different people. So, it was a way that we all could work as a team.”

This year’s Youth Summit sponsors included Otis Elevator Company, Cox Communications, and the Chicago Urban League IMPACT Leadership Development Program’s Class of 2024 cohort.

DJ BMan returned this year to keep the students dancing with popular songs during the lunch hour while nearly 200 volunteers managed the busy with direction from the Youth Services team.

Since its inception in 2019, the Youth Summit has grown by more than 1,500 students under the direction of Angela Hamilton, Vice President of Youth and Family Services. She has continuously pushed for the event to be bigger, better, and more innovative every year.

As she stated, “Attending school and learning in the classroom is, of course, necessary for all youth. However, we want them to think ahead to the future and their careers,” said Hamilton. “This year, we hope this hands-on experience sparked their curiosity. As we think and put plans in motion for next year, we are excited to bring forth a day unlike any other for our students along with our partners.”