Mayor and CPS Prioritize Safety and Engagement as Students Start Summer Break

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Executive Officer Pedro Martinez announced the end of a successful school year and the beginning of summer, filled with thousands of education, enrichment, career training, and job opportunities to keep young people engaged, safe and connected with their peers and mentors. The event included CPS students, community members, and Peace and Education Coalition High School staff.

“We’re proud to offer more opportunities than ever before to give our youth the kind of safe and enriching summer experiences they deserve,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I am looking forward to seeing our students gain new skills, explore their interests and take advantage of our museums, libraries, beautiful green spaces and lakefront this summer.”

CPS has worked closely with the City of Chicago to promote One Summer Chicago, a City program with a My Chi. My Future. app that connects every young person to youth-centered and engaging experiences. As of today, the program has received more than 25,300 applications for One Summer Chicago from CPS students at 602 schools.

CPS will provide expanded summer programming as a District and in partnership with the City of Chicago and its various agencies, as well as community-based organizations and private companies. The District expects to spend up to $50 million to support summer programming for approximately 90,000 students.

“Learning does not stop when school doors close,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “We’re grateful to the City, community organizations, and private companies for stepping up to provide a wealth of free or even paid opportunities for our CPS students to continue to grow, thrive, and stay safe this summer.”

Summer internship and training programs are available through the City, community organizations, and CPS partners, such as JLL and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 399. IUOE will offer a paid trainee position with JLL to 19 Class of 2022 graduates, 10 of which come from Chicago Vocational Career Academy and three from Peace and Education High School.

“I’m excited and grateful to start building on my career skills with JLL immediately after high school graduation,” said Yasmine Nelson, a Peace and Education High School graduate. “This is a great opportunity and will help make my higher education journey so much more affordable and meaningful.”

The partnership is designed to promote diversity and provide these selected graduates with access to a career path in engineering.  The selected participants will work to complete the IUOE Trainee program as operating engineers and throughout the program will be training with a highly skilled JLL mentor. After completion of the program, the trainees will have earned an associate degree and have the option to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a reduced cost. Additionally, students will be eligible to apply for work at CPS which can ultimately open the door to job opportunities throughout the U.S. and globally.

Additionally, the District has new offerings of Career and Technical Camps at schools across our city. The CPS Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE) is hosting “CTE Summer Camps 2022” to expose students to various career paths.

The summer camps, which will take place at 23 District-wide high schools between July 5 and Aug. 11, aim to expose sixth to ninth-grade CPS students to CTE program offerings and skills sets at campsites such as Al Raby High School (Culinary Arts and Pre-Law), Roberto Clemente Community Academy (Broadcast Technology),  Marie Sklodowska Curie Metropolitan High School (Automotive Technology), Uplift Community High School (Teaching), Richard T. Crane Medical Prep High School (Health Sciences), Neal F. Simeon Career Academy (Cosmetology, Barbering, Architecture), and Chicago Builds (Carpentry), among many others.

As part of the program, students will make corporate site visits, participate in interactive projects, and develop employability skills.

As in prior years, the District will provide students access to three types of programs in their neighborhoods and schools, from those that are required and overseen by the District, to local opt-in programs, as well as school-designed programs.

Safety Programs 

In addition to the summer academic, enrichment, and career opportunities, the District will extend the successful Safe Passage program into the summer to support students who will be attending programming at various Chicago Parks. CPS and “Summer Safe Passage” workers will partner with the Chicago Park District to provide a positive adult presence to help keep them safe as they travel to and from their programs.

“Safety begins with building relationships and a sense of community with peers and trusted adults,” said CPS Chief of Safety and Security Jadine Chou. “We are thrilled that our dedicated Safe Passage workers will be a part of students’ lives this summer and know that their presence and service will enrich our many summer opportunities.”

CPS will partner with Community-Based Organizations to offer up to 550 job opportunities to CPS students who are participants in the Choose to Change Program, an intense and comprehensive program to support students impacted by violence and trauma. Students will participate in jobs that combine skill-based job training in conjunction with social and emotional learning skills.

Last month, Governor Pritzker, in partnership with Mayor Lightfoot and CPS, announced an $18 million investment in the pilot program “Back to Our Future,” which aims to support 1,000 young people in high-risk situations beginning this summer. This pilot program aims to use relentless outreach to engage school-aged youth who have separated from CPS without completing their degree. CPS will partner with community-based organizations to locate, engage and support participants with wraparound supports, including employment, in order to prepare them to return to school full time.

Families can browse all CPS summer programs by visiting cps.edu/summerprograms, and we encourage families to check out summer options through our partners at the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Library, and the city’s My CHI. My Future. site.

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