By TONIA HILL
Hyde Park Academy High School, 6220 S. Stony Island Ave., and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., College Prep High School are two local high schools that will be a part of a 12-week course offered by Allow Good, an Evanston based nonprofit.
Allow Good aims to empower young people between 13-18 to be changemakers in their communities. Allow Good introduces them to topics such as philanthropy, leadership development, community involvement, innovation, and social entrepreneurship.
Over the course of the program that will begin this month, students will learn about a wide array of topics such as community history, social identity, and civics as they research community-based nonprofits.
Students will invest more than $20,000 in community grants to local nonprofit organizations. Nearly 650 high school students in the Chicago area will participate in the course.
Classrooms at Chicago area high schools will be transformed “into giving circles where students will identify social issues affecting their community and research organizations addressing these issues,” said Allow Good in a written release.
Student volunteers from the University of Chicago, Loyola University and Northwestern University will facilitate the youth grant-making process. Last year, Allow Good awarded $17,000 in student-directed grants to community nonprofit organizations.
At the conclusion of the program, some 84 percent take independent action to challenges within their communities, according to Allow Good.
“A survey of high school students who participated in the program found that 87 percent of students can identify societal challenges, 82 percent can work with others to address social changes, and 84 percent of survey respondents took action within a year of completing the course,” said Allow Good in a written statement.