Chicago, Illinois

Opportunity Youth Forum Partner Information:

Backbone: Thrive Chicago
Opportunity Youth collaborative: Thrive Chicago


Thrive Chicago

Chicago is home to nearly 50,000 16-24 year-olds who are out of school and out of work. Our city’s Opportunity Youth continue to be disproportionately Black and Latinx, skew older, nearly half are female, almost three-quarters have high school diplomas or higher, and almost half have been disconnected for over a year.

In March 2017, Thrive Chicago joined with over 300 public and private partners to launch a citywide campaign to reconnect OY. This campaign built off the City’s previous successful youth investments, like One Summer Chicago, the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative, Becoming a Man, and Strong Futures. One of the 10 recommendations in this campaign to drive down the number of OY in Chicago was creating Reconnection Hubs, neighborhood-based physical assets to centralize supports to reconnect youth to school or work. Borrowing from promising models in other cities and leveraging local assets to respond to local needs, Thrive and its partners launched Chicago’s first Hub in October 2018 in the Roseland neighborhood with a goal of serving 300 OY in its pilot year and scaling ot serve 700 in subsequent years. thrive is planning the launch of a second Reconnection Hub with community partners in 2019.

Areas of Collaborative Focus: postsecondary; workforce.

Joined OYF: 2012

OYF Project Participation:

  • Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund
  • 100,000 Opportunities Initiative ™ Demonstration City
  • Pathways To Careers
  • Fund for Youth Connectivity
  • Equity Counts