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The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and A Better Chicago, alongside generous support partner United Airlines, continue their partnership, One West Side, focused on equipping local leaders and fueling programs and services that enable Chicago's youth to thrive at all stages of life.

The partnership is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar commitment to invest in Chicago's West Side, which includes some of the city's underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods. This powerful partnership pairs the platform of professional sports with A Better Chicago's philanthropic expertise and management resources to support local organizations and leaders in efforts to create greater opportunity for youth in their own communities.

One West Side is focused on strengthening organizations deeply embedded in their communities with exceptional leaders poised to expand their impact. Collectively, the selected grantees reach Chicagoans at every stage of life -- from birth to young adulthood -- supporting education, social-emotional learning, mentorship opportunities, skills training and leadership development.

One West Side is proud to expand our partnership to two additional grant recipients in the second year of the initiative, joining the cohort of five inaugural leaders.



  • A House in Austin: Under the leadership of Lynette Kelly-Bell and Becky Martin, A House in Austin ensures children enter preschool with the language skills and emotional regulation tools needed to be successful in school through high-quality early learning experiences and nurturing secure bonds with parents. Programs center around a two-generational approach that addresses the needs of parents and children to improve outcomes for the whole family.

  • I Am Able: Under the leadership of Dr. Carolyn Vessel, I Am Able is a faith-based, trauma-informed care agency that provides services from birth to end of life, working to deepen its in-school social and emotional learning program at Legacy Charter Elementary School and expand into new schools on the West Side.


One West Side will also continue its support of the five organizations selected in 2020's inaugural cohort, which served more than 800 youth on the West Side last year.


  • Austin Childcare Providers Network: Under the leadership of Ruth Kimble, Austin Childcare Providers Network is developing a collaborative pilot to ensure that children leave early childcare providers ready for kindergarten by creating continuity of learning and practice among childcare (pre-K) providers and elementary schools.

  • The Bloc: Founded by Jamyle Cannon, The Bloc provides a meaningful physical outlet for youth through boxing as well as academic coaching and mentoring.

  • Cluster of Care Community Hub (West Side United): An initiative of West Side United under the leadership of Ayesha Jaco and Tenisha Jones, the Hub will provide students and their families with wraparound services and resources conveniently located within the school building.

  • VIP Program (Firehouse Community Arts Center): Through the VIP Program, Phil Jackson and the Firehouse Community Art Center is focused on the prevention and interruption of violence by providing young adult men who are often perpetrators of violence with mentorship, leadership development and access to skills training and job opportunities.

  • MAAFA Redemption Project: Under the leadership of Marshall Hatch, the MAAFA Redemption Project is an initiative in West Garfield Park that provides at-risk emerging adult men with leadership development, employment, housing and a host of customized wraparound supports to meet the unique needs of each participant.