Supporting youth in overcoming challenges that may hinder them from staying in school and graduating.
Inspiring youth through transformative curriculum, creating space to incorporate innovative programs for marginalized and at-risk youth.
Improving the quality of education and transition services, in terms of both academic and soft skills, to prepare students for college, employment or training.
Engaging youth through personalized academic attention and extracurricular activities.
Expanding opportunities to which they may not otherwise have had access in order to unlock new interests, develop new skills and gain pivotal social-emotional learning.
Each year ASN serves more than 3,500 Chicago students between the ages of 16 and 21 through its member schools. This group is comprised of a large population of Latino (31%) and African-American (66%) students and many come from low-to-moderate income households (89.3%). ASN also targets a population of students who were previously incarcerated (8%) or have disabilities (7%). Across this population of youth, there is a strong probability that many come from communities where violence has interrupted their own learning and the learning of their peers.
Through our extensive experience working with out-of-school youth populations, ASN has learned that the most significant factor in reducing dropouts is a whole-school approach that includes alternative education opportunities which can produce a systemic change in how re-enrolled students approach their education.
ASN believes the essential steps to reducing dropouts and thereby transforming youth, the communities they live in and their futures include:
Since its establishment, ASN has leveraged and directed annual funding for community-based programs to meet the needs of high-risk youth in Chicago. In addition to supporting direct services, ASN empowers, develops and strengthens community-based organizations to promote services in which the people involved are active participants in developing and running programs rather than passive recipients.
Together with its member schools and community-based partners, ASN has established collaborative undertakings to not only transform youth into productive individuals, but also to grow interest in their own learning, spark intellectual curiosity and develop their capacity for meaningful participation in their futures and the future of their communities.
ASN’s range of programming focuses on: