‘Summer Kickback Series’ beginnings for youth on South and West sides

The city launched its “Summer Kickback Series” Friday, expecting to make safe spaces and programs for youth on the South and West sides.

Through the $1.3 million program, 15 taking an interest community groups will recruit 10 to 20 teens and two youthful grown-ups to promote and host youth-focused activities and vaccine advocacy initiatives during a nine-week time frame, as indicated by a news release from the city.

The members — ages 14 through 19 — will go through online “vaccine ambassador” preparing through Malcolm X College so they can urge their neighbors to play it safe against COVID-19 and get vaccinated on the off chance that they aren’t.

Every Friday night until Aug. 27, the taking part associations will host a “For Teens, By Teens” event.

An anonymous donor is paying for funds for the hiring of 238 teenagers and youthful grown-ups, as indicated by the news release.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, First Lady Amy Eshleman, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Amazon, and community-based associations began the “Summer Kickback Series” as part of the city’s My CHI.My Future, which endeavors to interface youth to their communities.

“The Summer Kickback Series builds upon MCMF’s efforts to further young Chicagoans’ professional development leading to positive futures,” Lightfoot said in the news release. “I am also delighted to see that this initiative builds upon our efforts to continue encouraging vaccinations against COVID-19 and utilizes our all-hands-on-deck approach to public safety.”

Savior Equiano, the executive director of the Auburn Gresham-based CHI RISE, added that economically empowering youngsters, “builds confidence, self-esteem and enables them to get a better understanding of how life might be when they become full adults.”

The following associations are taking part in the “Summer Kickback Series”:

• Project Exploration – Austin

• CHI-RISE – Auburn Gresham

• New Eclipse Community Alliance – Back of the Yards

• Southwest Organizing Project – Chicago Lawn

• Community Assistance Programs – Englewood

• Breakthrough – East Garfield Park

• The BASE Chicago – West Garfield Park

• BUILD Inc. – Humboldt Park

• Gary Comer Youth Center – Greater Grand Crossing

• The Alliance 98 – Little Village

• Chicago Youth Centers – North Lawndale

• Girls Inc. of Chicago – Roseland

• Lost Boyz Inc. – South Shore

• Teamwork Englewood – West Englewood

• Phalanx Family Services – West Pullman

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