I Am We began providing programs in the summer of 2014.  We achieved this as an all volunteer start-up organization.  Our targeted population were middle school students. We believed if we provided a safe space, consistency and enriched programing, that we can create engagement and an environment for learning for our students and community. The data we collected proved that students were both engaged and their core competencies in communications and social skills improved. Today, as a young 501(c)(3) community minded organization, we still hold close to our beliefs and are more passionate than ever before in providing middle school and high-school students with quality outcome based programming.

I Am We program: Chicago Voices

Chicago Voices

Chicago Voices is a co-ed, digital storytelling program that introduces students to the fundamentals of filmmaking, communication, and literary development. This is a co-ed program, ages 12-14 (middle school) and 14-18 (high school).

Chicago Voices introduces youth to advocacy and civic engagement through film.

Youth are given hands on experience in creating digital campaigns, Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and short videos. The goal of Chicago Voices is to teach youth how to advocate and inspire through digital media. Through this program youth will gain skills in advocacy around educational attainments. Additionally, they will also gain experience in communications, social awareness and conflict resolution. Youth will also have access to other film makers who are using their creative voice to positively impact the world around them.


Chicago Youth Speaks:

Chicago Youth Speaks introduces students to the art of journalism, community engagement, and storytelling. The program aims to teach students the basic fundamentals of journalism and story development, while building their core competencies in communication and literacy skills. Chicago Youth Speaks is a co-ed program, ages 12-14 (middle school) and 14-18 (high school).

Youth Speaks introduces youth to their local and greater community through the medium of journalism. Youth will gain skills in interviewing and writing for publications. Stories are shared via community newspapers, and I Am We blogs.

The goal of Chicago Youth Speaks is to give youth a voice regarding social, community and academic issues. Additionally, the intention of the program is to connect teens with amazing Chicago citizens who are impacting their communities. Through this connection youth will have an opportunity to interview some of Chicago’s finest and be exposed to modern day she/heroes.

2019 Chicago Youth Speaks: I Am We Tour of WGCI Chicago

In the summer of 2019, through I Am We’s partnership with After School Matters and Westinghouse High School, kids were taught journalism, podcasting and photography by Lenard William, who is currently a radio personality on iHeart Radio, Becoming Datable. Lenard’s program focuses on building intergenerational relationships between youth and community.

Young Entrepreneurs:

Young Entrepreneurs is a program designed to give students the hands on skills in creating a product, marketing and selling it. Through this program, student will learn the fundamentals in branding strategies, pitching their ideas, analyzing targeted markets and evaluating financial risk. This program introduces critical forward thinking and the value in creating strategic partnerships. This program is designed for middle school and high-school students.

Imagine If:

Imagine If is an initiative that organically formed while serving youth through programming. One day, our teaching artist asked students a series of “Imagine If” questions. What we heard next was remarkable. Students between the ages of 7-10 years of age began “Imagining If” they could:
  • Play outside;
  • Ride their bikes down the street;
  • Go to the park;
  • Jump rope in front of their house;
  • Play sports with their friends, etc.
Next, we learned what was preventing children from becoming children was the concentrated violence that plagued their communities. We were heartbroken, but we needed to respond in a powerful way. Therefore, we turned to film and allowed children to write their narratives, produce their films or any other art form they participate in through our programs, and most importantly, create their own “call to action.”