When you think a Chicago youth what do you picture? Growing up on the West Side of the city it’s not always pretty. Some people may think of drugs, gangs, and teenage pregnancies while others see hope, future, and stability. 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. sees possibility. Possibility in guiding local youth on the West and South Sides to be the best they can be.
100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. started in 1994 when a group of men wanted to help guide youth, focusing on young men in the city, in positive directions through educational opportunities and mentoring. Programs that the organization provide encourages young black men in the city to achieve and think of themselves as more than where they come from.
Mentoring, a large component of the program, happens on a weekly basis where mentee and mentor relationships are formed. This program aligns with the school year to provide services to young men during their academic year.
Scholarship fair and fundraiser are to help young men to be exposed and afford college. For more than 15 years, the scholarship fair happens during the fall where youth and their families get a chance to see colleges and universities from all over. This event provides youth with information for post-secondary education, provide millions of dollars in grants and scholarships, and offers for enrollment to eligible students. In addition, the scholarship fundraiser is monies gathered by 100 BMC to support graduating men from high school and their mentoring program to pursue post high school education.
Why Is This Needed
Before 100 BMC, I have never been exposed to an organization that particularly focused on black men. There are a lot of controversy that seem to surround black men but, here is a program that provides a helping hand. This guidance comes from other black men who may have shared similar struggles and can advise on how to overcome them. The program also provides young women with the opportunity of mentorship and guidance into young adulthood.
In order to see a change in youth residing urban Chicago areas, there has to be an example and what 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. is doing is only the beginning.