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A Recap of OSC’s Summer 2023 / By: Vivian Kaleta

In partnership with One Summer Chicago (OSC), On the Money Magazine (OTM) was a summer program managed by the Economic Awareness Council, offering an exciting summer of job opportunities to youth in Chicago. In June 2023, a group of young adults were given the opportunity to become money mentors. For 7 weeks, interns met for 20 hours a week to get trained in basic financial literacy education to provide hybrid financial education presentations to other youth in OSC programs. OTM’s money mentors and other OSC youth were able to depart with professional development, specifically strengthening their networking, problem solving, and leadership skills. Evelyn Benitez, DFSS Youth Services Coordinator, has witnessed OSC’s impact for years. “OSC has acted as an incubator to introduce young people to many industries and explore their endless possibilities,” said Benitez. “OSC has impacted Chicago’s youth by providing new experiences and career opportunities they didn’t necessarily know that needed or wanted.”  Karis Kelly, a 2023 money mentor, described the internship as great preparation for her university and future career life. “Being able to benefit others while also benefiting myself made my summer with OTM and OSC extremely valuable. Much of what I learned has been applicable to my college life”.

  The On the Money Internship is just one of the many programs One Summer Chicago offered this summer. OSC brings together government institutions, community-based organizations, and various youth employers to offer employment to Chicagoans ages 14 - 24. According to OSC, over 20,000 youth are served by the program annually with 77% of those youth being high school students. In the year of 2022, 25 million dollars went into the wages earned by participants. This year marked the 13th summer of OSC within all 77 of Chicago communities and 50 aldermanic wards (One Summer Chicago, 2022). OSC takes Chicago one step further in a direction of less crime, drugs, and violence. In a report published by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, joblessness and violence in Chicago shared a high correlation. Increases in youth unemployment specifically increased thefts and drug offenses (UIC, 2017). Employment through OSC helps alleviate Chicago’s communities of crime and ensures a brighter future. If you are finding yourself free this summer, consider a One Summer Chicago job opportunity: onesummerchicago.org.


Interviews

  • Karis Kelly, 2023 Money Mentor 

  • Fathima Shaikh, 2023 Money Mentor 

  • Evelyn Benitez, DFSS Youth Services Coordinator


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