From the UCSC Newsletter: Getting Involved in the City of Chicago

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By Lynda Lopez, News and Public Affairs Intern for UCSC

The winter quarter has officially gotten underway, which means another 10 weeks of dedication, hard work, and discovery in everyone's academic lives. Even though the quarter represents the return to academic normality, it does not have to mean a return to the same day to day routines of campus life.

Before planning out your entire winter schedule for involvement on campus, make sure to ask yourself some important questions. Am I getting to know the city of Chicago? Am I doing something that I feel passionate about? Are the groups on campus fulfilling all my needs/expectations? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then it may be time for you to branch out into the city as a whole and get involved with an organization not necessarily on campus.

It can often be difficult to leave the UChicago campus because of homework and transportation expenses, but getting involved in an organization off campus may prove to be a much needed booster to your academic confidence. Reaching out to new horizons allows you to truly gauge your ability as a person and a student. Besides, getting involved does not mean that you are becoming an employee at this specific organization. It simply means that you may start to volunteer once or twice a week on a weekday or weekend, depending on your availability.

The city of Chicago is a vast place with endless resources for college students. From environmental activism to anti-violence prevention, there are a myriad of opportunities for students to get involved.

In order to facilitate your search around the city of Chicago, the UCSC has compiled an easy reference list of some great non-profits around the city. There are different non-profits listed under each side of the city with a brief description of what each does, which can also be found on each of their websites.


Beyondmedia Education
Beyondmedia Education is an organization that collaborates with under-served and under-represented women, youth and communities to tell their stories, connect their stories to the world as a whole, and organize for social justice through the creation and distribution of media arts.

Center on Halsted

The Center on Halsted serves as a place where the LGBT community can find a safe and nurturing environment. It provides community resources and other social services for youth and adults.


Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization is a place where students and other activists come together and discuss issues pertaining to the condition of the environment in the city, specifically the Little Village community. The organization has a reputation of being at the forefront of the environmental movement and is well-respected across the city.

Latinos Progresandos
Latinos Progresando was founded in 1998 to address the lack of high-quality, accessible community resources in Little Village. The organization is uniquely attuned to the specific needs of the communities Little Village and Pilsen. Some services offered include immigration services and theater programs for young men and women.


Erie Neighborhood House
Erie Neighborhood House is committed to empowering Latinos and diverse low-income communities to reach their fullest potential with a range of educational programs for all ages. Their mission is to promote and just society by providing low income families with the tools for a better future.

Homan Square Community Center
The Homan Square Community Center is for every resident of North Lawndale and Chicago's West Side. The programs and services offered are designed to meet the needs and wishes of the community.


Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to equal participation in the life of our society. It also aims to raise awareness about immigrant issues to the general public in order to encourage further participation in the important immigration movement.

Dreams for Kids
Dreams for Kids is a volunteer based, registered non-profit children's charity that breaks down social barriers and end the isolation of at-risk youth. Dreams for Kids is empowering youth who live in poverty and those with disabilities, by uniting them with their peers, recognizing their abilities, and allowing their voices to be heard. The most isolated young people from every community are reminded they have something to give, and they are the solution- not the problem.



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