Former Chicago Community Grant Winners

We’ve been excited and inspired by the all the proposals submitted to the Chicago Community Grant Program in the previous cycles.  We wish that we could give all of our presenters some sort of support, but our audience ultimately decides who walks away with the grant!

We’re proud to showcase our past first-place winners:

Fall 2016:  ‘
South Merrill Community Garden
The South Merrill Community Garden will progressively teach cultivation and eco-friendly gardening skills to the participates and help generate a greater sense of community. Our mission encourages our participants to embrace a healthier life style through hands on experiences with fresh foods and build re-supportive gardeners that live and work in the community.
Fall 2016 Runner Up:  ‘Girl Rising Teen Leadership Academy’
The goal of this program is to give high school women the tools to become critical thinkers about the everyday expectations and pressures they encounter in today’s society. Our curriculum is designed to provide participants with a safe and collaborative environment for the students to engage in group counseling through discussion and self-discovery where they can learn life skills that will allow them to excel in each of four critical categories: Leadership, Healthy Living, Social Skills and Lifestyle.

Spring 2016:  
The Cooperation Operation Summer Workshop Series’
A series of workshops this summer by a non-profit community garden that will be hosting coinciding with their regular volunteer days, on topics ranging from gardening based, to food preparation, art, education, sustainability, and spirituality.
Spring 2016 Runner Up:  ‘BarberQue
A mashup of the words barber and barbeque, Barberque is an event that will bring together people from all walks of life to share a meal and their unique perspectives. The event will positively impact the lives of homeless people in Chicagoland with a day of hair cuts, new clothing, a family style barbeque, and sharing of social service resources that can improve quality of life, while creating connections and bonds between all human beings.

Fall 2015:  
No Grant Salon

Spring 2015:  ‘I Grow’
I Grow Chicago’s Summer of Promise program will enroll a minimum of 30 “at-promise” Englewood youth, ages 5-12, in a camp that is focused on academic enrichment, cultural arts, leadership development, and daily mindfulness and yoga practice. The purpose of the five (5) week program is to promote social awareness and community building to empower the youth with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to achieve their fullest potential, while engaging in the power of play in a safe environment.


Fall 2014:  ‘Slow Roll Chicago
Slow Roll Chicago is a community bicycle ride in Chicago founded in 2014. Slow Roll Chicago rides on a regular basis from April to October. The ride meets at various locations & venues and takes a unique route for each ride. Slow Roll is for everyone; all ages, skill levels and types of bikes are welcome. We are called Slow Roll for a reason as our slow pace keeps the group safe and gives riders a unique perspective of our great city and its beautiful neighborhoods. An amazing and diverse group joins us from all over the Chicago area and beyond, creating what we consider one of the greatest gatherings of all time. 


Spring 2014:
**The Neighborhood Engagement Initiative Community Resident Survey is a grassroots effort to gather important information about the West Pullman community area, in the hopes of empowering the community to create a holistic plan to improve quality of life.**
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Fall 2013:
The Kedzie Carroll Garden program won our Spring 2014 grant award!
“The vacant lot on the corner of Kedzie and Carroll is being converted into a community garden. The garden started in 2010 behind the church on the adjacent lot. There are currently 2 compost bins, a raspberry patch, a hops garden and some small plots tended by local residents. Through volunteer days and the tool lending library at the chicago center for green technology we have prepped the land for raised beds.”
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Spring 2013:
Congratulations to ‘Peace Within YOUth’ for receiving the Fall 2013 Chicago Community Grant! Peace Within YOUth is a violence prevention program being operated in CPS teaching mediation and yoga practices to students. We’re super excited to see what happens with this program as it continues to develop and grow!

Fall 2012:
Our second grant cycle was awarded to the GirlForward’s Safe Spaces Projects.  GirlForward is a nonprofit providing mentorship, educational, and leadership programs to adolescent young women who are refugees living in Chicago.

Spring 2012:
Our first grant cycle was awarded to Unspoken Words:  A Voice for Homeless Youth, which provides homeless youth with a platform to raise awareness about youth homelessness in Chicago, while helping them find and develop artistic gifts to express themselves.
“We speak out through Urban Art, Poetry, Spoken Word, Music, and Photography. We have been fully funded through fundraisers and people who strive to help those in need; as we continue to move forward lives continue to change!”