My Block, My Hood, My City provides youth from under-resourced neighborhoods with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood.  We take students on explorations focused on STEM, Arts & Culture, Citizenry & Volunteerism, Health, Community Development, Culinary Arts, and Entrepreneurism. In 2016, the My Block, My Hood, My City Explorers Program took students to tour art galleries, to learn how to sail, to serve meals to the homeless, to explore The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and to engage in many more educational and life experiences.

What is the Program

My Block, My Hood, My City is a vessel to introduce Chicagoans to places in their City they’ve never seen or experienced. We facilitate custom experiences for organizations that serve teenagers.

Every month we take a group of interested teenagers on a city-wide exploration, visiting hidden gem businesses and artful intersections, uncovering communities and challenging preconceived notions. By taking teenagers outside of their comfort zones, but right next door in their own city, they can see what Chicago has to offer, and experience a different perspective that will awaken ownership and pride in them.

Participating teenagers receive MBMHMC T-shirts, a one-day Ventra pass and explorers’ journals. Lunch and snacks are also included.

Travel = Success

Regardless of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class, students who took educational trips between the ages of 12-18 were more likely to be academically and financially successful.

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more likely to earn a college degree or do postgraduate work

personal income was 12% higher ($41,000 compared to $36,700 annually)

Travel = Ambition

Travel improved academic success and influenced career choices. 89% reported that educational travel had a positive impact on their education and/or career.

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stated that educational travel made them more interested in what they were learning in school

claimed their career choice was influenced by educational travel

Travel = Curiosity

Children who took educational trips enjoyed school more and felt a greater connection to their world. 86% said that educational travel made them more intellectually curious both in and out of the classroom.

reported that the local culture they experienced on their trip had a lasting impact

found their educational trips to be fun, engaging, and/or inspiring

In the 2016 - 2017 school year

My Block, My Hood, My City served 90 high school students from under-resourced neighborhoods (Englewood, North Lawndale, South Shore, and Edgewater).

  • 55% of student participants were female, 45% male

  • 70% African American or Black, 27% Latino/a/or Hispanic, 3% Bi-racial

    • Only 46% of student participants said they felt comfortable travelling to neighborhoods other than their own prior to participating in the Explorer’s Program, whereas after participating in the program 100% said they felt comfortable in neighborhoods other than their own

    • Only 40% said they were likely to leave their neighborhood and explore the city on their own but after participating in the program 92% said they were likely to leave their neighborhood and explore the city on their own

    • Only 50% said they felt connected to Chicago prior to participating in the Explorer’s Program, but after the program, 92% of students said they felt connected to the city

    • 100% of students said by participating in this program they stepped outside their comfort zone and tried something they never thought they would

    • 100% of students said their self-confidence increased from participating in the program