Metropolitan Speaks Again on Teen Reach

Metropolitan Family Services Program Supervisor Leslie Chestnut was among those speaking in support of the Teen Reach program at a press conference held by State Rep. LaShawn Ford (8th Legislative District) on Mon., April 27 in Chicago’s Austin community. Teen Reach is an after-school program that helps develop youth academically, socially and emotionally and has been vital in keeping youth safe and productive.

Representatives from multiple Chicago-area organizations participated in the press conference, all imploring Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to restore Teen Reach funding. The Governor’s FY15 budget eliminated the funding and required Metropolitan to close its Midway Youth Center, which served youth on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

Metropolitan has been active in advocating for restored program funding, and one of its former Teen Reach students, Vanessa Melendez, shared her own story about the program’s impact on her and her family at a legislative hearing held in March in Chicago. Students and staff from our Youth Center also showed their support for Teen Reach by participating in a rally at Chicago’s Thompson Center in April.