Summer of Fun @ UIC program to provide Pilsen youth with swimming pool, athletic field access
The University of Illinois Chicago’s Office of Community Relations has partnered with a Pilsen community organization to provide area youth ages 12 to 18 with access to swimming pools and athletic fields, combined with brief educational talks, during weekly visits to campus this summer.
The pilot program, called Summer of Fun @ UIC, will partner with Luv City, a Chicago-based production company that gives at-risk youth a creative outlet to express themselves, along with coordination support from the offices of 25th Ward Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, to provide transportation to and from the UIC Physical Education Building, where the facilities are housed. The program, scheduled to run July 5 through Aug. 9, will give Luv City participants safe and active enrichment options.
“Beyond access to swimming pools and athletics fields, we will also engage the youth with weekly talks that will focus on topics like financial awareness, mental health, artistic creativity and other areas tailored to their interests,” said Amalia Pallares, UIC vice chancellor for diversity, equity and engagement. “We view this pilot as an important resource for local youth as well as an expansion and deepening of our community collaborations and partnerships in Pilsen.”
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez said the effort reflects the cooperation between UIC and the community.
“Our community has a responsibility to our youth, to guide them in the right direction in order to succeed,” said Ald. Sigcho-Lopez. “Thanks to UIC and Luv City for opening up the athletic fields and aquatic arenas for youth summer programs because investments in our children are investments in our future.”
The Summer of Fun @ UIC program is being sponsored in part by the R.R. Callahan Company, a property rental company that has supported youth programming in Pilsen over the years as part of its operations.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Engagement includes UIC’s external outreach efforts led by Community Relations, Community Collaboration, and Partnerships for Anti-Racist Campus Transformations, known as PACT. The office drives all aspects of campuswide diversity and equity work, including the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change, Advancing Racial Equity initiatives and diversity educational programming.