Southwest Youth Collaborative
Andrea Shields - Chair of the Board of Youth Directors
6400 South Kedzie
Chicago, IL 60629
The Southwest Youth Collaborative is a community-based network of youth and community development organizations working together in five neighborhoods on the southwest side of Chicago. Our mission is to work with youth between the ages of 5 and 19 from diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds to unleash their potential to become successful and actively contributing members of society. To this end, our programs work to build self-esteem, personal and social growth, cooperation, leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and community awareness among our participants. At the same time, our organizing efforts work to build youth and community involvement in decision-making processes affecting children, youth, and families
There are five affiliated programs central to the work of the Collaborative. Girl Talk, a program for female juvenile offenders, meets weekly to discuss issues of self-esteem, sexuality, abuse, and avoiding repeat incarceration. The Prison Action Committee assists released offenders and works to improve conditions inside the Illinois prison system. The Community Justice Initiative works with young people to probe a range of justice and legal issues through role-playing and group discussion. The group educates other young people through events and training sessions on issues of juvenile justice. West Englewood Youth and Teen Center and the Greater Lawn Community Youth Network are neighborhood centers that provide a variety of programs for area youth.