Mayor Lightfoot, First Lady Want Youth To Be Engaged Creatively For Summer And Beyond In New 'My CHI. My Future.' Initiative

WBBM Newsradio Staff
May 23, 2020 - 5:26 pm
CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The mayor and the first lady want to make sure every youth has a meaningful summer, with mentorship opportunities and community engagement that can help students find their passion outside of the classroom and start their future. 
The city's new initiative, called “My CHI. My Future.” launched Saturday and aims to provide youth with remote activities, events, programs and art initiatives that are suitable across all socioeconomic and racial identities. 
“Every young person in Chicago deserves to explore their passions in youth-centered, out-of-school experiences,” said Mayor Lightfoot in a press release. “Access and participation in Chicago’s diverse out-of-school opportunity ecosystem must be equitable, resulting in all young people leveraging community assets and the city’s resources to build positive futures for themselves and their communities.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the original implementation of the initiative, many out-of-school experiences will now be available online and feature a variety of activities for youth to keep busy, such as:
  • Live Events – real-time offerings that are interactive and have a connective element
  • Virtual Experiences – taped offerings that take youth to another place
  • Do-It-Yourself Activities – things that youth can do at home alone or with family
  • Challenges – activities that have a competitive aspect to them
  • For-Youth-By-Youth – activities that youth have created and curated for each other
  • Gaming – interactive activities
The initiative was announced in partnership with city’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services Dr. Sybil Madison, who called it a vital resource for youth as summer approaches and school ends.
“Despite the pivot to protect the health and safety of all Chicagoans, there is still a vital role for MCMF to play both in helping youth connect to the content being created by out-of-school partners and in being a hub of rich resources that partners, and caring adults, can draw upon in their engagement of youth,” said Madison.
The website also includes content that taps into what youth need now, including music and art opportunities, virtual jobs and mental health resources. Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, has teamed up with the MCMF initiative to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for Chicago youth as a digital mental health resource to help manage anxiety, build mental resilience and navigate through the pandemic's uncertainty "in hopes to spark and sustain interests and drive passion projects," per the press release.
The site also has at-home mindful workouts and sleep content to help address rising stress and anxiety. Teens over 13 interested can sign up and join virtual events, like an upcoming open mic May 25.