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Help Our Community Save Its Center of Change

The Southwest Youth Collaborative’s (SWYC) Center of Change, housed at 2749 W. 63rd Street, provides critical services and programming for 300 youth who are at the highest level of risk for dropping out of school, committing violent crime or witnessing/being a victim of crime. The Center of Change is a safe space for countless youth to learn, interact and express themselves without the distractions or violence of their immediate surroundings.

Center of Change Services:

  • Drop-In Safe Zone and Programs for youth, including crisis intervention, mentoring, and organic counseling for a population who otherwise would likely not engage in any type of therapeutic support.
  • Drop-In Programs for Youth who have been expelled from school. With a goal of allowing youth to return to school and graduate, the program offers a safe place for youth to overcome their problems with the education and criminal justice systems. It is the only drop-in center in the area open during school time.
  • Vital intervention services and guidance for conflict resolution and lessening violence, thereby decreasing youth's susceptibility to violence and crime.
  • Through SWYC’s other programs, neighborhood youth get their GEDs, prepare for college, are trained for jobs, experience dance and music, and in many other ways prepare for successful futures.

THE SPACE IS CURRENTLY IN SUSPENSION OF ACTIVITIES DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING and the impact is direct. One of its youth was shot and killed in front of his home last week due to the senseless violence. Young people need places they can go to interact, cope and be mentored in times like these. The over 300 youth that attend the Center of Change currently have no place to turn. They need an escape from the senselessness.

As stakeholders in the community, it is important for us to support organizations that are doing their best to quell the violence and provide young people with positive opportunities to learn, build self-esteem, and see the hope in their future, particularly with state services being dramatically cut or reduced. Doing so helps everyone flourish, from individuals to families to businesses.


*** The campaign case for support and partnership levels and benefits can be found here: Case for Support PDF. Remember, everything helps, so if you are unable to support the Center of Change at the Campaign Partnership level, please consider a smaller donation. Every donation will make a difference to our youth.

*** Community Business Partners donation: when a business donates 5% of their sales during the month of June and/or July to the campaign.  If businesses are interested they should contact Alicia Tellez Vega (SWYC Executive Director) directly if they are interested.  She may be reached at 773-476-3534 ext. 250 or at

*** You may make your gift by clicking on this link: Donate or by sending a check to the Southwest Youth Collaborative (6400 S. Kedzie, Chicago, IL 60629).

On behalf of all the youth served at the Southwest Youth Collaborative, thank you for your kind consideration and generous support!!

Thank you,

Hussein Castillo
Board Member, Southwest Youth Collaborative
Garifuna Flava Caribbean: A Taste of Belize

For more information on how you can help, please contact Alicia Tellez Vega, Executive Director at 773-476-3534 ext. 250 or email

The Southwest Youth Collaborative, a community-based youth development organization, was established in 1992, and services six of Chicago's most challenged neighborhoods-Gage Park, Chicago Lawn, West Lawn, West Englewood, and West Elsdon.   Located on 6400 S. Kedzie, the mission is to inspire youth, families, and community members from diverse economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds to become leaders in their communities.

Posted in Local Businesses, Youth, Community Events, Education

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