It’s Friday!  How about some good news?

As an organization dedicated to discovering the most effective ways to reduce violence, Get IN Chicago dedicates a great deal of time to measurement. Getting results and analyzing data can be a slow process, but in the meantime, our grant recipients are seeing promising changes on the ground.

Alternative Schools Network
Grant Recipient – Mentoring

“Marshawn* started the school year very rough. He was constantly absent, late, disrupting class, or being sent to the dean. By the end of the first quarter, Marshawn had the most write-ups in the entire school, averaging about four per week.

“When he was recommended for our program, I watched him in the hallways.  He was a social butterfly, interacting with any and everyone in the hallway he could. During our first conversation, he was pretty straightforward about knowing he needed help.  He admitted that he wanted to graduate but is easily distracted.

“After enrolling him into the program, Marshawn and I started having daily check-ins.  These check-ins included monitoring his grades, attendance, and disciplinary write-ups. I kept it very real with Marshawn.  For example, I made sure to keep him aware of the number of write-ups he was getting.

Youth Employment Hearing 1.26.16

Students pose with their ASN mentor at the 2016 Youth Employment Hearing

“We also began to talk about how his behavior was affecting his grades and attendance. Marshawn was able to see the negative effect he was having on his own success.  He also started to see that graduating in June 2016 was actually a real possibility if he turned things around.

“So, Marshawn began to make some serious changes. He started staying after school to make up work and get extra support from his teachers.  Soon, his once-high number of write-ups decreased to barely one per a week.  He started not just coming to school on time but coming early.  He really made a big shift.

“In November, Marshawn was hospitalized after being the victim of a shooting.  Contrary to what you might expect, this setback did not change his attitude towards school. During one of my visits, I remember asking if he needed me to bring him anything.  His first response was ‘No, I’m okay.’

“Then, after some thought, he called me back. ‘You know what, Miss – I know what you can bring me. You can bring me my work… but just a little bit!’  Even while recovering, he realized he didn’t want to fall behind.

“Upon his return to school, Marshawn has maintained his improvements.  He’s still on track to graduate and still incorporating his new insights into school and life.”

*name changed

CYDI field trip 12.15

Alternative Schools Network was awarded a Get IN Chicago grant to support mentoring services for 120 young men and women in Englewood, Humboldt Park, and North Lawndale. The program focuses on developing basic skills for future success, strengthening life and social skills, broadening cultural horizons, and taking pride in the community through active service. 


 Check back on upcoming Fridays for feel-good tidbits and stories!