• 10 Years of impact and counting!

    Each year, we align on impact projects that directly connect to improving the lives of Chicagoans. For instance, one of our impact projects entailed working with My Block, My Hood, My City to develop organizational capabilities, scale operations, and execute cross-neighborhood excursions for underserved Chicago students. Another had us partner with LeadersUp to develop training & curricula that empower youth interviewing for and navigating a new job. Our impact areas are below and keep scrolling to find our projects and partners!

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    Southside market

    2021 - 2024


    The Southside Market impact project is supporting the development of a neighborhood micro-grocery and cafe (launching 2022) working to increase nutritional food access and collective ownership opportunities in Greater Chatham.

    About the organization:

    • Collectively owned micro-grocer and cafe in a fresh-food limited area
    • Partners with CGS for 2 years
    • Mission is to provide healthy and accessible food to the south of Chicago - Chatham
    • Runned by solo-entrepreneur with help of the community council
    • Opening their 1st physical location in 2024


    • Completed market analysis
    • Developed employee policies and onboarding process
    • Refined pitch deck
    • Architectural rendering of physical space

    Lead Pipes

    2023 - 2024


    Theme: Built Environment; Lead Pipe Infrastructure in Chicago


    Problem Statement: There is no acceptable amount of lead in water pipes. Chicago pipes currently have lead levels significantly beyond the average.


    2023 - 2024


    Theme: Deliver basic needs to recently arrived migrants and unhoused people


    Problem Statement: Lack of food, water, sanitation, resources for migrants who have recently come to the city; we would target food to start as the first basic need


    2023 - 2024


    Theme: Inspiring the youth and neglected toward better civic engagement.


    Problem Statement: Civic engagement continues to decline due to a growing distrust in government leaders, low morale, and low-visibility/low-impact initiatives being implemented.


    Financial literacy

    2023 - 2024


    Theme: Financial literacy necessary for surviving in modern society


    Problem Statement: Discrepancies in the education system have resulted in gaps of basic financial knowledge needed to survive in the modern world.

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    2022 - 2023

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    Southland Development Authority

    2022 - 2023

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    Global Girls

    2022 - 2023

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    Department of Housing

    2021 - 2022


    CGS partnered with the City of Chicago Department of Housing and the Metropolitan Planning Council to launch a Racial Equity Change Teams with the policy and construction bureaus.


    • Drafted selection criteria and application process for change team members
    • Created communication plan and tools
    • Supported discussions about how to structure pilot team opening workshops
    • Building out sharepoint site, cultural surveys, and rollout tips to enable future expansion

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    Urban Rivers

    2021 - 2022


    The Chicago River impact project is centered around supporting Urban Rivers and their work in cleaning & strengthening the river ecosystem. The team focused on securing financial support and providing volunteer time to further UR’s programs.


    • Grant application submitted
    • $10k donation secured
      (5 kayaks & 1 dingy)
    • Volunteer research time
    • River cleanup event

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    The 2017 US Presidential election centered race and religion as defining and dividing forces in American society. With that backdrop, our Hub used 2017 to develop the Chicago Dialogue Project, an initiative designed to create awareness, spark dialogue, and promote education about some of the most pertinent issues impacting Chicago youth. This yearlong series of facilitated discussions engaged Chicago teens on some of the most complex and divisive issues impacting their day-to-day, with conversations touching on community-police relations, immigration, and Islamophobia. Our goal was to empower young people to open up about how these issues impact them and eventually work alongside peers to develop actionable steps to address and remedy these issues.


    While hosting conversations was important, we believed that our work wouldn't be complete if we didn't equip and inspire young people to take immediate action. That's why we developed resource guides aimed at giving attendees a simple starting point. These resource guides were useful for students who:
    Wanted to learn more about topics of discussion
    Wanted to identify community members to connect with to drive change
    Needed immediate help and/or assistance


    Check out our guides below:

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    Pythagorean Rhythms


    Pythagorean Rhythms takes a multi-faceted approach when addressing academic performance disparity in marginalized communities by 'stemming' music in children.


    It is scientifically proven that children who practice musical instruments and/or listen to music from a young age show significantly greater ability to recognize patterns and have heightened spatial-reasoning skills compared to children who don't. Pythagorean Rhythms targets the youth who don't. Youth whose race, ethnicity and gender are disproportionately less represented in S.T.E.M working fields in America. This targeted program will instill children (from age 4) with the classical techniques and training they need to explore their musical and artistic talents while exposing them to an array of instruments and genres, including classical, jazz and contemporary.


    This program also aims to make our 'disconnected' youth contributors in the music world by driving them to create and compose music, not just consume. Pythagorean Rhythms bridges the art divide by giving 'disconnected' youth an opportunity to express themselves and develop an alternative paradigm to heightening academic performance through music.


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    Parent Education Initiative


    The goal of this impact project is to empower parents with knowledge which enables them to understand their child’s strengths and areas of growth, know the rights and support services to which their children are entitled, and communicate effectively with school staff.


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    The passport project focused on


    1) preparing high schoolers for community engagement-focused international trips


    2) supporting them in identifying meaningful career opportunities post-trip. The project connected internationally-minded young professionals with youth from across Chicago.

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    As Opportunity Youth (youth between the ages of 18-24 that are not in work or school) represent a diverse population of especially vulnerable groups (i.e. homeless, foster care, high school dropouts, and reentry), the LeadersUp program seeks to develop and integrate key resources for preparing youth for the workforce and supporting their transition through the process. Our on-boarding process includes a two day LeadersUp empowerment training followed by a 5-day power skills training, to help youth 1) recognize their own agency in transitioning to work 2) prepare for interviews with employers and 3) develop a cohort of peer accountability to assist in transition. CGS would be involved in helping youth to build positive coping skills, resiliency, and coaching for sustained success in employment pathways. We envision a short-term project that consists of:

    • Skill Development Workshops for 3 training cohorts
    • Ongoing mentorship for up to 45 LeadersUp Hires
    • Participation in post placement professional development lunches

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    For our inaugural impact project, the Chicago Global Shapers (CGS) selected a project that immersed our hub in Chicago’s rich and diverse communities. We wanted to learn about Chicago and understand why the city is so segregated, and then use this understanding to connect Chicagoans and help residents see our city as the sum of its rich neighborhoods.

    Over the past 18 months, CGS collaborated with Chicago community activist Jahmal Cole’s My Block My Hood My City (MBMHMC), an organization focused on getting young people into differentneighborhoods across the city.

    Primarily, Chicago Global Shapers and My Block My Hood My City revised
    and expanded the “Explorers Club”, which brings ten different teenagers to
    a newneighborhood every month.


    Explorations include visiting local
    businesses, museums/cultural hubs, and restaurants that capture the
    essence of theneighborhood.



    The Chicago Global Shapers team will make our best effort to work collaboratively and communicate effectively with our partner organization on the project. We will work to be transparent with processes and decisions and respect the opinions and ideas of our partners. To the best of our ability, we will leverage our assets and skillsets for mutual benefit including volunteer labor, marketing and publicity, etc.

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