Partnership, Community Collaboration & Youth Mentoring

A youth-led community forum in partnership with Bright Star Church of Bronzeville was held to share research findings from the Saving Lives, Inspiring Youth Cross-age Mentoring Program.  The program, funded by the Department of Justice and After School Matters and located in four high-poverty, high-crime communities in Chicago, empowered high school youth to mentor community children and middle-schoolers from their communities. Research findings were shared for community feedback and youth commented on the impact of the program. You can see more about the program at

Three doctoral students, Ms. Cynthia Onyeka and Ms. Kaleigh Wilkins from the Department of Psychology and Ms. Heather Watson from the School of Social Work, worked with youth to present the findings. The project’s PI was Professor Maryse Richards, Department of Psychology, and co-PI was Professor Katherine Tyson McCrea, School of Social Work. Professor Tyson is also the PI of the Empowering Counseling Program (see Representatives from Contextos also presented on the impact of their mentors in building positive life trajectories despite serious obstacles. Another community forum will be held August 8 at Lindblom High School in Englewood, all are invited to attend. Findings are also available through publications and a forthcoming book. Please feel free to contact Professor Tyson McCrea, if you would like further information.