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.

Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Grant Recipient – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

“The youths identified to participate in our Get IN Chicago program, Save Our School Children (SOS), are considered the high-risk youth at their respective schools by school administrators. The intersection of trauma and violence are quite salient among the participants.

“As the facilitator, I anticipated challenges, and there have been a few. However, I did not anticipate the level of change seen by some of the youth in such a short period of time. For instance, I run a girls-only SOS group at Hirsch High School in South Shore. All of the girls were initially identified as having significant histories of fighting and other disciplinary problems. I saw this further exemplified during the enrollment period: as a group, the girls were combative and at times difficult to redirect.

“But as I met with the girls individually during the intake process, I learned about their lives and struggles. Consistently, they told me that they were never listened to or their needs were brushed to the side. At the end of these sessions, the girls thanked me for listening. I stressed that I would be a consistent ear for them.

cspp lead photo

Photo via The Chicago School of Professional Psychology website


“As our sessions have continued, I have challenged them to turn the corner and use their time in our group to figure out how to make positive changes. Since then, I have noticed changes, most notably in three of the young women. Those three girls have not been involved in fights or been suspended for disciplinary reasons since joining our group.  Behaviors that were once general patterns for them have stopped.

“Another success has taken place at Marshall High School in North Lawndale, where I work with a group of teenage boys. These young men have become so been fully engaged that they have nearly perfect attendance to our sessions. Each of them uses our time together to talk about experiences relevant in their lives, particularly the impact of marginalization and violence in their neighborhoods.”


The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is currently implementing the Save our School Children’s (S.O.S.) program, which includes developmental and strength-based approaches to increase protective factors (positive self-image, peer refusal skills, positive school attitude) and reduce risk factors (substance abuse, rule breaking behavior, mental illness.)  Get IN Chicago awarded them funding to serve 100 youth in the Englewood, North Lawndale, and South Shore communities. 

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