About the Program

Youth Guidance’s STRIVE Program (Strategies to Rejuvenate Interest and Value in Education) is a partnership with area public schools and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

The program works to integrate support systems within schools in order to help youth in care transition into adulthood and lead productive lives.

STRIVE delivers counseling and academic support to youth in care and their families that empower them to achieve social and academic success. As necessary and appropriate, youth living in subsidized guardian-ship and adoption situations may also participate in the program.


Our counselors work to develop and maintain positive, supportive relationships with youth in care and their caregivers. Their work includes ongoing support activities, such as:


All children need nurturing relationships, adult guidance and access to a quality education. For more than 20,000 Chicago children involved in the foster care system, these needs are even more pressing. STRIVE works to meet these core needs by promoting the well-being of youth in care through structured counseling and well-rounded supports.

A strategic collaboration between Youth Guidance, Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, STRIVE serves youth who have experienced trauma or neglect by integrating support systems within the school environment.  Staff act as mentors and advocates by determining the needs of students and offering resources that help fill identified voids. Staff outreach and support helps in-care youth transition into adulthood and lead productive lives.

STRIVE serves youth ages 14-21 through one-on-one counseling, college tours, social and educational enrichment field trips, parent and family engagement educational workshops and educational activities.

Program Referral Form

If you have a youth age 13+ attending a Chicago area school please complete the form to refer them to the program.



    The STRIVE program services 7th-12th grade youth in care enrolled in Chicago Public Schools throughout the city.  During the 2019-2020 school-year, the program served approximately 188 youth ages 14-21, attending Chicago area schools including:

    • Bowen High School
      (South Chicago)
    • Hyde Park Academy High School
    • Austin CCA High School
    • Orr High School
      (Humboldt Park)
    • Phillips High School
    • Chicago Vocational School
      (Stoney Island Park)
    • Proviso East and West High School
    • Roberto Clemente High School
      (West Town)
    • Schurz High School
    • Thornridge High School
      (School District 205, Dolton)
    • Hubbard High School
      (West Lawn)
    • Bogan High School