Stories

Spring Break 2019

Youth spent additional time at Family Matters during Chicago Public Schools’ spring break in April. They took part in a variety of activities and field trips. They dyed (and tossed!) Easter eggs, created Vision Boards, went ice skating, and saw a movie. On Thursday, before the long holiday weekend, fourth grader Jonathan asked a team member, “Pleeease can Family Matters be open tomorrow?” We’re overjoyed when youth are eager to spend time here! The ice skating trip offered a first … read more

Zarian and Matthew

Tutor/mentor-youth pairs have participated in one-to-one conversations this year to learn more about one another. We’re pleased to introduce our first pair – Zarian (Z) and Matthew (M)! Z: Hi, this is Zarian Cargill. M: And I’m Matthew Walter. Ok Zarian, do you remember starting tutoring with me? What were your first impressions? Z: Hmm. It was pretty fun. Because I was excited, I didn’t know what was going on but, I was like, maybe I get to play games! And … read more

Evening Tutoring Gives Back

This winter, Evening Tutoring hosted a supply drive for two organizations that are neighbors of Family Matters: Care for Real in Edgewater and Refugee One in Uptown. The collected items were specifically requested by the organizations and included household items, personal care items, clothing, and food. To promote the drive, youth in Evening Tutoring created posters to hang throughout the building, letting everyone who wanted to participate know what to bring and where to put the items. Youth and tutor/mentors were also asked to spread the word to … read more

Voices in Photos

by Talia Waxman, Family Matters Intern This fall, That Goddess Power (Family Matters’ Teen Girls Program) conducted a Photovoice project: a community-based participatory research project about the ways that we respond to, resist, and heal from the impacts of violence. The purpose of the project was to discuss different issues and solutions surrounding how violence has impacted our lives, what we see, and why we think these things happen. TGP worked on the Photovoice project every Monday for six weeks. … read more

Partner Spotlight: Specialty Print Communications

In a conversation with Adam LeFebvre, the President of Specialty Print Communications (SPC), his deep compassion from which the organization operates was immediately apparent. SPC’s six-year relationship with Family Matters speaks for itself. As the marketing and communications business grew, so did its engagement with Family Matters—sponsoring the Annual Gala, supporting teens in summer internships, and encouraging alumni of our programs to apply for positions. According to Adam, the company’s track record of giving back extends even further. Adam remembers … read more

Volunteer Spotlight: Marietta McPike

Marietta McPike has been teaching piano at Family Matters for 20 years. In that time, she has worked with approximately 75 young people who participate in Youth Development programming. She began playing piano herself at the age of nine. She fondly remembers her own teacher, and how he would later become a friend. An important figure in her life, he taught her piano, harmony, and theory. In addition to teaching piano, Marietta worked at IBM for 35 years. Still, she … read more

Project RISE 2018

Two summers ago, Family Matters’ Boys to Men program launched an employment initiative, Project RISE, in partnership with the Community Church of Wilmette. Now in its third year, and with the support of the City of Chicago’s Chicagobility Summer Internship Project, Project RISE expanded this summer to include 31 youth. Project RISE works to address biases and barriers that impede access to the workplace—deepening an understanding of how to leverage youths’ strengths and build relationships across ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic … read more

Learning Matters 2018

This summer Family Matters once again offered the Learning Matters summer program for area youth entering grades 2-6. The program included hands-on classes around a variety of engaging topics, educational field trips (including an overnight camping trip), one-to-one literacy tutoring sessions, and many leadership development activities. Classes Youth signed up for week-long morning and afternoon classes, all of which involved project-based experiential problem solving. In Cupcake Wars, small groups adapted a basic cupcake recipe and decorated the cupcakes to represent … read more

Family Matters’ 2018 Graduates

We're excited to share the following list of Family Matters' 2018 graduates. Congratulations to all! High School Graduates Ket Net Pree, Acero Cruz High School. Ket will attend a two-year program at Arrupe Loyola this fall, then plans to transfer to a four-year university. Melissa Soriano, Senn High School. Melissa will attend Truman College in the Fall to complete her Associate's Degree before transferring to a 4-year University. Maung Htay, Senn High School. Maung will attend School of the Art Institute of Chicago ... read more

Teen Filmmakers Start a Conversation

Members of Boys to Men (Family Matters’ Teen Boys Program) have hosted four community screenings of their film, Silence the Violence, a documentary that looks at the multiple causes of gun violence through the eyes of young men in Chicago. The film is a culmination of roundtable discussions with the police and the community at large. Silence the Violence was filmed in Rogers Park and includes stories from all around Chicago. It was produced by Chris Spence, Family Matters’ Director of … read more

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