NORTHBROOK, Ill., Aug. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of youth across Chicago's underserved communities are working in summer jobs, building social skills, receiving counseling, and even learning ballet, through Allstate's Safe Summer Grants totaling $500,000.
"Many of our city's youth struggle to find safe environments and positive activities during the summer break," said Vicky Dinges, senior vice president of corporate responsibility, Allstate. "Our grants support high-quality programs that prepare youth for tomorrow's workplace, develop leadership skills, and provide new and fun experiences. Allstate believes that good starts young and we are committed to empowering youth with the courage to stand up for themselves, and the determination to achieve their full potential."
Eleven local organizations are recipients of Allstate's summer grants including:
The Department of Trauma at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and Hektoen Institute of Medicine
Allstate funds are supporting the "Healing Hurt People" initiative conducted by the Hektoen Institute of Medicine and the Department of Trauma at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. The program helps gunshot victims rebuild their lives. Hektoen's initiative is modeled after Drexel University's program, which has been successfully implemented in several Philadelphia-area trauma centers. Victims are assigned social workers to help them re-enroll in school, find jobs and housing, and receive mental health services.
"Research shows youth treated for assault-related injuries at urban hospitals are 40 percent more likely to be involved in future gun violence or be re-injured," said Rev. Carol Reese, program director and violence prevention coordinator, Cook County Hospital. "Our program provides young victims with intensive case management services for several months following their traumatic injury. We're helping provide a support system where there often isn't one and are helping address the unique set of conditions facing each victim."
Chicago Urban League
The Urban League's mentoring program, which helps at-risk African-American youth build life skills, is reaching more young people through Allstate's grant. As part of the mentoring, youth work with advocates to identify issues that may be putting them at risk for dropping out of school, or getting in trouble. Youth participants create plans for addressing their individual issues, and work with their advocates to monitor their progress over the course of a year. The mentoring program also provides job skills coaching and interview attire.
Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Center
Dozens of Chicago youth are learning ballet at Chicago's renowned Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Center. At summer's end, 10 aspiring dancers will be awarded tuition waivers to attend Joffrey's Academy of Dance this upcoming school year. Through these grants, Chicago youth are gaining access to an art form not typically available in at-risk communities.
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Allstate grant funds are also supporting YMCA Chicago's partnership with the Chicago Police Department to improve relations between youth and the police. The initiative includes regular meetings between police and community members to discuss concerns and solutions. Officers are also receiving training on how to engage with youth and build trust with the communities they serve.
Additional Allstate Safe Summer grantees include Redmoon Theater, the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation, Claretian Associates, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Victory Gardens Theater, the Art Institute of Chicago – Gene Siskel Film Center, and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life's uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names. Allstate is widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." The Allstate brand's network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In the 20 years since Allstate became a fully independent public company, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners have donated more than $405 million to support local communities.
SOURCE The Allstate Corporation