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Exelon Commits $3 Million to Expand “Becoming A Man” Program Targeting At-Risk Chicago Students

Program aims to reach more than 4,000 participants this school year, helping to increase graduation rates and reduce conflict

CHICAGO— Exelon announced that it has committed $3 million over three years to help fund a significant expansion of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM) program with a goal to serve 4,080 male Chicago Public Schools students this year. The expansion represents an increase of 30 percent over the previous year, or an additional 1,300 students. Expanding this program and other mentoring programs supports Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s three-year commitment to reach 7,200 young men from at-risk communities with high-quality mentoring opportunities to support them in staying in school and on-track to graduate from high school.

“At Exelon, we believe that empowering young people is the key to creating opportunity and building stronger communities,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “Programs like BAM prove that with investment and support, our kids can reject violence and instead step forward into bold and promising futures.”

“Exelon has been a strong supporter of Youth Guidance’s mission to help youth overcome obstacles for many years, and through Exelon’s generous leadership gift to expand our BAM program across Chicago, over 400 Chicago youth will have a caring, skilled BAM Counselor guiding and supporting them for each of the next three years,” said Michelle Adler Morrison, CEO, Youth Guidance. “The impact of Exelon’s support on the youth we serve and their communities will reverberate across Chicago.”

“Important investments in mentoring that have the power to turn young people’s lives around cannot wait for the next budget season,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I want to thank our partners at Exelon for stepping up in support of our plan to expand critical mentoring services to youth who need it most. Not only will their support help to make a difference in the lives of thousands of young people across the city, but it will contribute to a better future for our city overall.”

 “Exelon has been a strong supporter of Youth Guidance’s mission to help youth overcome obstacles for many years, and through Exelon’s generous leadership gift to expand our BAM program across Chicago, over 400 Chicago youth will have a caring, skilled BAM Counselor guiding and supporting them for each of the next three years,” said Michelle Adler Morrison, CEO, Youth Guidance. “The impact of Exelon’s support for the youth we serve and their communities will reverberate across Chicago.”

BAM is a school-based group counseling program that helps young men learn and utilize social cognitive skills, such as slowing down their thinking, considering the perspective of others and identifying and evaluating consequences before acting. The program model integrates cognitive behavioral therapy, youth engagement and rites of passage work. BAM's foundation rests upon six core values: integrity, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression, respect for women and visionary goal setting. Last school year, BAM served 2,751 young men in 50 Chicago schools. 

A recent University of Chicago Crime Lab study found that BAM reduced violent crime arrests by 50 percent, reduced total arrests by 35 percent and increased on-time high school graduation rates by 19 percent for male students at Chicago Public Schools. 

Evidence-based programs like BAM provide young men from at-risk neighborhoods the support they need to stay on-track to graduate from high school and avoid involvement in the criminal justice system that is more likely if they drop out of school. ​

 

 

 

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