Fun kicks off for hundreds of CHA residents participating in Summer Youth Opportunities
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Karen Vaughan: (312) 786-6666; (312) 656-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICAGO (July 7, 2021) – Starting this week, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is offering paid summer opportunities for young residents ages 13 to 24. The programs provide early exposure to career and education pathways, while also addressing potential summer learning loss and providing options for positive and enriching out of school activities.
“Through CHA’s summer programs, 2100 young people will spend the next six weeks exploring their interests and developing their passions, all while building confidence and having fun. They’ll also earn a monetary stipend for their effort, showing them that their time and hard work is valuable,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott.
The summer youth opportunities, most of which last through August, include:
Become a Filmmaker: Geared toward female youth ages 15-20, this documentary filmmaking program is designed to provide all essential skill sets for a job in film: pre-production, camera operation, lighting, sound, and video editing. Guided by award winning filmmakers and DePaul graduate students, participants receive extensive training while exploring the power of their personal narrative. During the program, youth will also be visited by industry experts and go on experiential field trips including a tour of Cinespace, the largest film studio outside of Hollywood. Working in small teams, participants will create an original short documentary that will screen across Chicago and possibly the nation. Participants earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts in the College of Computing and Digital Media.
Learn and Earn: Career Connections: This is an opportunity for 520 youth ages 13-15 to explore a career area of their choice, such as entrepreneurship, arts and technology, computer science and coding, healthcare and more. Through hands-on projects and real-world experiences, participants make meaningful connections to subjects like English, math and science and their career interests. They will review skills they already learned and preview skills they will need to be successful next school year. This program is a fun way to make new friends and earn money while getting a head start on academics and learning about career choices after graduation. CHA’s partners are After School Matters and City Colleges of Chicago.
Counselor in Training Program: CHA and the Chicago Park District collaborated to provide 40 teens a virtual and in-person summer opportunity as a Counselor in Training (CIT). Teens will gain valuable life skills and the opportunity to grow, learn, and have fun with the Chicago Park District. CIT participants will also enjoy fun challenges, hear unique perspectives from guest speakers and learn about using our parks safely. Participants earn a $1,200 stipend for the six-week program.
Game & Graphic Design: Youth ages 15-20 will learn how to create games and explore graphic design from an award-winning game designer within DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts. In this program, participants will be guided to develop their creative voices to effect change and introduce ideas to others. The six-week intensive program focuses on journaling and self-exploration to create graphic design, games, and interactive experiences. Participants earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts in the College of Computing & Digital Media
Movie and TV Scripts 101: This program teaches 12 students ages 15-20 how to write an original screenplay from award-winning screenwriters at DePaul University. Participants will analyze a series of films studying screenplay format, visual writing style, scene craft, story structure, character development and dialogue. The program culminates with each participant writing their own short movie/tv script and actors from DePaul’s Theatre School doing a table read of their work. Participants earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts in the College of Computing & Digital Media.
Neighborhood Youth Corps: The Chicago Police Department’s Neighborhood Youth Corps (NYC) helps 30 students ages 15-18 explore future education and career options to empower and prepare them to maximize their adult potential. Through field trips, community service projects, and workshops facilitated by professionals and community leaders, students receive guidance on relationship building, careers, job preparedness, and workplace social skills. Participants earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is the Chicago Police Department.
Next Level Photography: Twelve participants ages 15-20 take their smartphone photography skills to the next level by learning how to operate a professional DSLR camera. In this hands-on intensive, they master the technical foundation of photography, explore several major genres (nature, cityscapes, portraiture, street photography), and develop their own original style. Each participant will create a digital body of work that will serve as a portfolio for future free-lance work and be entered for a contest to win a professional-level camera package. Participants earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts in the College of Computing & Digital Media.
Smart Art and Community Engagement Program: Working alongside professional artists at the University of Chicago, 20 teen participants ages 15-19 are inspired by exposure to diverse art forms, expand their critical thinking in response to pressing social issues, develop their own unique expression, and create opportunities for public engagement. The program features field trips, relationship building with peers, and instruction in art and community empowerment. The program is participant-led with a goal of developing personal skills and public impact around common concerns. Participants earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago.
Summer Youth Employment Program: The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) offers 1,600 young people ages 16-24, meaningful, paid work-based opportunities with a variety of industries throughout the city. Participants explore their interests, career pathways, build employability skills and financial literacy over the course of six weeks during the summer. Participants earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is FamilyWorks. Space in this program is still available. CHA youth, ages 16 - 24, can apply by visiting Onesummerchicago.org.
Urban Ecology Apprenticeship Program: Through the program, youth engage in hands-on lessons and project-based training spanning architecture, carpentry, design gardening, farming, and nutrition. Participants ages 16-24 earn $14/hour for up to 120 hours over six weeks. CHA’s partner is the Sweet Water Foundation.
ABOUT THE CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY (CHA)
The CHA’s vision is to foster strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago by increasing affordable housing choices for low-income families. The CHA is also the largest rental housing owner in the City of Chicago. It serves more than 133,000 people in 63,000 households across the city through our Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. For more information, visit www.thecha.org.