Speak United Blog

Housing: The Foundation for Student Success

In the winter months of 2016, Claudia Gonzalez*, a mother of three living in Brighton Park, unexpectedly lost her job. Though she aggressively searched for alternative employment, she couldn’t keep up with rent payments for her apartment.The sole provider for her family, Claudia needed some outside support to keep a roof over… Read more »

South Chicago Students Splurge at Back-To-School Shopping Spree

For many families in the Chicago region, the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping can put their wallets in a pinch. The cost of school supplies, clothing and backpacks adds up quickly, especially for families with multiple children.To ease the financial burden and prepare students for their first day, United Way of Metro… Read more »

Young Moms Head Back to School With Support from Association House

As schools across the Chicago region get ready to re-open their doors, many students are packing up their bookbags and choosing their First Day outfits. At Association House High School in Humboldt Park, some students are not only getting themselves ready to go back to school, but their children, too. The high school,… Read more »

Former Bears Player and AmeriCorps Volunteer Spark Fruitful Friendship

When Nikko Ross arrived at Ignite, a Young Leaders United fundraiser benefiting United Way’s AmeriCorps volunteers, he anticipated a casual night of fun and celebration. Little did he know, a chat with a special guest would spark a rewarding friendship that will extend far beyond the party.During the night’s celebrations, the 22-year-old… Read more »

Cracking the Code to New Career Pathways

Only 29 percent of jobs in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields are currently held by people of color. It’s not a lack of interest in these fields that prevent minority students from entering the workforce, but rather a lack of access and awareness.But that’s changing for youth in the communities… Read more »