Deeper & Stronger

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The Wellington Management Foundation recently chose the Sue Duncan Children’s Center as one of six organizations nationally to receive a $250,000 catalyst grant, planting the seed for our “Deeper and Stronger” initiative.  This gift has given us an important boost in our growth by supporting our staffing needs.  Through our “Deeper and Stronger” efforts, we are now able to focus on maintaining and deepening our quality, in addition to quantity, as we meet the demands of the neighborhoods we serve.

As an extension of this effort, the Center launched an individual giving campaign in April of 2017 to deepen and strengthen our “Anti-Violence, Pro-Education” program focus.  It costs $40,000 per year to house an inmate in prison, and $4,000 to transform a child at the Sue Duncan Children’s Center.  Considering the alarming reality of youth violence in Chicago, the “Anti-Violence, Pro-Education” campaign gives supporters an opportunity to make a wise and timely investment in the communities we serve.

THE NEED:

  • We surveyed 23 of our students during a discussion (3rd thru 6th graders): 16 (70%) knew a victim of gun violence; 13 (56.5%) had a relative shot; and 8 (35%) had witnessed someone get shot. According to the Chicago Tribune, there were 324 shooting victims between the ages of 0-16 in 2016. Seventy-eight percent of homicide victims were African American.
  • In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education reported that Americans with college degrees are more likely to live healthier lives, be more civically engaged in their communities, have good-paying jobs, and experience greater job security. Only 19.6% of African Americans hold a college degree.

How we are responding to this need using an “Anti-Violence, Pro-Education” approach with the help of our supporters:

  • A Violence De-escalation program targeting at-risk students that includes restorative justice as a healing, trauma-informed approach. Many of our students have endured devastating tragedies in their personal lives that require intervention. All of them live in neighborhoods where gang violence and recruitment is an ongoing threat.
  • A College Preparation, Placement & Support program that extends our retention and tracking beyond high school graduation. This will provide critical support to students who face many barriers in obtaining a post-secondary education, increasing their chances of completion significantly.

This is a very important step for the Center during a time when safety and constructive alternatives to violence must be priority.  We are being proactive and working diligently toward solutions in advance of the summertime, which has proven to be the most violent time in our city.  Individuals supporting our “Anti-Violence, Pro-Education” Giving Campaign give us the opportunity to “deepen and strengthen” our efforts in response to an increased exposure to violence, yet decrease in educational opportunities for the impoverished neighborhoods we serve.

Click here if you are interested in helping us transform Chicago youth by making a donation toward the “Anti-Violence, Pro-Education” Giving Campaign. For more information, call 773-942-2277, ext. 102.