Ensuring all of Chicago’s young people realize their fullest human potential.
Chicago Beyond is a venture philanthropy fund created to improve the life outcomes of young people in Chicago and beyond. We focus on two issues we see as flip sides of the same coin - educational attainment and youth safety.
Our unique approach combines investing, learning and growing to rapidly scale the impact of disruptive community-born and led organizations that transform the lives of youth who are often least served.
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We’ve partnered with researchers like the University of Chicago Urban Labs to assess the impact of our investments. They help us pair scientific evaluation methods with expert analysis to ensure our investments maximize the good we do for young people across our city.
Chicago Beyond’s 2017 Innovation Challenge was designed to find and invest in innovative programs that disrupt chronic challenges facing young Chicagoans. Winners of the challenge could each receive up to $2 million to partner with Chicago Beyond to help grow their work and reach more youth.
Chicago Beyond’s 2017 Innovation Challenge is now closed. Thank you to all applicants! Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to hear about our winners.
May 2017: After a year-long period where Chicago has seen a surge in violence, and recognizing the urgent need for solutions ahead of the summer months, Chicago Beyond has invested in Healing Hurt People Chicago and One Summer Chicago Plus.
Through assessment, psycho-education, intensive case management, group therapy and mentoring, Healing Hurt People Chicago helps youth who’ve been violently injured, so they can heal both physically and emotionally.healinghurtpeoplechicago.org
Connects youth from high-poverty, underserved communities with a 20-hour week summer job, a mentor, cognitive behavioural therapy and social skill-building for seven weeks. Chicago Beyond’s $4 million investment will serve 3,000 young people over the summer on the city’s south and west sides.onesummerchicago.org
Storycatchers prepares justice-involved youth to make thoughtful life choices through the process of writing, producing and performing original musical theatre inpired by personal stories.
Chicago Beyond’s first Go Innovate Challenge sought early-stage ideas that offer innovative programming in two areas: Supporting College Matriculation and Graduation; and Reengaging Youth in Work and School. The innovation investments from Chicago Beyond include a research partnership with the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs to test the effectiveness of each program in order to learn “what works”.
Through a 12-week curriculum and a year-long case management support, the Dovetail Project focuses on reengaging young fathers in the lives of their children and setting them on a path to success through education in parenting, life and job skills.
Genesys Works empowers students to build a better future by exposing them to real life experiences in the professional world; the program provides at-risk high school seniors with workforce training, a year-long paid internship, college-prep and ongoing support through college, empowering students to ultimately pusue a professional career.
OneGoal is a program that provides college support for students in 11th and 12th grades and through their first year of college.
Youth Advocate Programs provides youth and their families with intensive support and specializes in working with those who are at highest risk.
After School Matters provides after-school and summer program opportunities to more than 15,000 Chicago high school teens each year.
SAGA Innovations is a program that provides highly targeted, personalized math tutoring to students in the 9th and 10th grade who need it most.
Photography by Iwan Baan and Sandy Steinbrecher.