“At Exelon, we are investing to empower young people and create opportunity. Programs like BAM prove that with investment and support, our kids can reject violence and instead step forward into bold and promising futures.” Read more.
Give to the BAM® Mentoring Initiative
BAM Served Over 4,000+ Young Men in 2016
To ensure that at risk youth in high crime neighborhoods receive the support they need to graduate from high school and stay off of the streets, In 2016, Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched a three-year initiative to expand high quality mentoring programs. A total of 65 schools delivered BAM mentoring services to 4,080+ 8th-10th grade male students through the year’s mentoring investment—up from 49 schools served the previous year. At that time, the Mayor’s hope was to reach 7,200 young men from under-resourced communities with high-quality mentoring opportunities to prevent them from dropping out of school and staying on track for high school graduation. BAM’s increase of 1,300 student participants during the 2016-2017 academic year was a major part of the first phase of the effort. See the full list of school locations.
The mentoring initiative is being made possible thanks to many sponsors and supporters including Exelon, Get IN Chicago, Jimmy Johns, Bank of America, and Peoples Gas. As noted by Mayor Emanuel: “…we made a promise to the next generation—that we as a city will tackle some of our biggest challenges together, starting first by helping our young people who need us the most. To support our children in being successful in school and in life, we must all play a role. I want to thank our partners for stepping up to get us closer toward the finish line in this important initiative that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of young people from across the city—marking a better future for all.”
A recent University of Chicago Crime Lab study found that BAM reduces violent crime arrests by 50 percent, reduces overall arrests by 35 percent, and increases on-time high school graduation rates by 19% for program participants. The Crime Lab estimates that BAM’s benefits far outweigh program costs, with up to $30 in societal gains for every $1 invested in the program, from realized reductions in crime alone. Crime Lab researchers believe the economic returns of BAM may ultimately be even higher because people with a high school diploma often have higher earning potential than those who drop out.
“At Get IN Chicago, we fund and study community-based programs that reach acutely high-risk youth most in danger of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. We’ve found over the last two years through measurement and reporting that mentoring programs have an invaluable impact on almost all aspects of a young person’s life. Strengthening our city’s corps of mentors, therapists and service providers through programs like BAM, particularly in the community where many of these acutely high-risk kids are, is key to giving our youth the support they deserve.”
Toni IrvingExecutive Director, Get IN Chicago
“Peoples Gas is deeply committed to Chicago and excited about this new partnership with BAM, to help expand its mentoring program to reach at-risk young Chicago males. We are very impressed with BAM’s success at teaching values and life skills and confident this program will have a significant impact on the young men in our community.”
Charles MatthewsPresident & CEO, Peoples Gas
“I credit much of my success to my mentor, Jim Lyons, who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He stood by me when my high school was ready to expel me. Jim listened to me and we grew to trust each other. He encouraged me and I started to believe that I could do whatever I wanted which helped me graduate from high school. That allowed me to move on to become a good friend, father, and husband, as well as a successful entrepreneur. That’s why I’m supporting Mayor Emanuel’s initiative to reach young individuals who need someone to believe in and trust so they can also become the best version of themselves.”
Jimmy John LiautaudOwner & Founder of Jimmy John′s Sandwiches
“Bank of America is committed to helping communities thrive and that includes investing in our youth to help them overcome obstacles, focus on their education and build pathways to their economic success. We proudly join with the Mayor and all of Chicago to come together to invest in young adults to prepare them to succeed in school and in life.”
Paul LambertBank of America Chicago Market President.
“[The latest study] results confirm what we already know about the remarkable effects of the Becoming A Man program, and also affirm that an investment in our children’s futures is the most important investment we can make in Chicago’s future. As we work to make our communities safer and our children’s futures brighter, programs like BAM are essential to giving our youth who need help the most access to mentors so they can learn good values and change the direction of their lives. By doing so, we will keep more children safer and help our next generation succeed.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Support BAM & Chicago’s Mentoring Initiative
Join Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Mentoring Initiative with a donation of $2300, and help support a student’s participation in BAM. Your gift will help Youth Guidance continue to bring BAM to Chicago’s schools and meet youth where they are—physically and emotionally—so that they have the support they need to reach their full potential. Give today and positively impact a young life!