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Altgeld 10 in New York City

The mission statement for our Calumet Center’s Altgeld Youth Leadership program, drafted by the high school students who participate, reads:

“To create ethical leaders with an open mind who are honest, trustworthy, and willing to make a change beyond their community.”

The second cohort of our Altgeld 10 – ten young leaders who visit New York City during their Spring Break, thanks to support from the Lyon Family Foundation – embraced this mission as they learned new things about new cultures in a week filled with new experiences.

Seven of our youth had never been on an airplane before. Now, they’ve not only flown in a snowstorm, but they’ve also met the President of Basketball Operations at the NBA and toured its headquarters, learned valuable career and life lessons from Goldman Sachs, tasted the best of Harlem’s soul food at Red Rooster and toured the kitchen, toured colleges, experienced an improv class, and visited New York landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial.

The trip gave our Altgeld 10 an opportunity to do just what their mission statement says – make a change beyond their community. Encountering homeless people on the streets, many of our youth gave money and snacks. They’ve done projects in Altgeld to help combat food insecurity in the neighborhood, and understand that an extra bag of chips can go a long way for someone less fortunate. They’ve heard from the previous cohort about the experiences on the trip, and are now ready to share what they’ve learned with future cohorts of their peers.

Special thanks to the Lyon Family Foundation, as well as Metropolitan board members Byron Spruell and Erica Canzona, and Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster! Engaging in such a unique way with the NBA, Goldman Sachs, and Red Rooster helped create truly unforgettable and lasting experiences for our youth.