The Chrysalis Program is a youth organization that teaches wellness, life skills, and creative arts to African American girls to improve their quality of life and inspire future success.
Helping girls and women who live in under-resourced neighborhoods have abundant life, equal opportunities and mental wellness.
The Chrysalis Program seeks to reduce or eliminate the effects of childhood
trauma for African American girls and their families on Chicago's South Side and beyond.
The Chrysalis Program creates safe spaces for girls to heal, learn and grow by
offering Wellness Workshops, Counseling, Life Skill
Classes, Creative Arts Lessons, Parent Classes, Enrichment
Field Trips, Mentorship and Community Events.
The Chrysalis Program is unique because it takes a holistic
approach to empowering; teaching both life skills
and coping skills that gradually improves the quality of life
for participants and their families.
By executing several initiatives, ranging from after school and summer programming to youth leadership development initiatives, The Chrysalis Program is helping to shape the next generation of leaders who will have a direct impact on our communities. The Chrysalis Program’s multilayered approach has a proven track record of improving students' expectations and capacities for future success while decreasing likelihood of engaging in risk-taking behavior.
Chrysalis Program students learn under three pillars:
The Chrysalis Program began first as a book series called, The DARK Brown Girl. The series was written to build the confidence of African American girls and women. Emails, messages and letters poured in about girls who didn't love themselves, were being bullied or had attempted suicide due to a severe lack of confidence. The Chrysalis Program was created as a safe place to learn the skill of self-confidence in a fun interactive and safe environment. We soon found that the community needed more than a confidence boost. Issues such as: pediatric asthma and diabetes, violence in the home and in our communities, and childhood trauma needed to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Our students needed to leave our program not only with better confidence, improved behavior, and higher academic achievements, but with healthier minds and a long-lasting positive lifestyle.
Since launching our program, August 2016, the Chrysalis Program has served 618 students during Saturday Sessions, 1,264 students in school workshops (in person and virtually), and 63 parents during parent classes and workshops.
82% of students who have participated in Chrysalis workshops have reported a significant increase of self-confidence. 87% of students report a decrease in depression symptoms. 89% of Chrysalis students have reported improved grades since joining the organization.
The Chrysalis Program was founded on the southside of Chicago where the population is 76.6% African American/black. 22% of the southside of Chicago are between the ages of 5 and 19 (the largest cohort in the area.) The median household income for the southside of Chicago is $34,174 compared to the national average of $62,843. 17% of people in this area have never earned their high school diploma. 35% of residence have only received a high school diploma. 8% have received a Associates Degree and only 11.7% have earned a Bachelor's Degree.
We are looking to close this education and wealth gap by preparing students for successful adulthood by teaching life skills that are intended to level the playing field.
Our approach to resolving this inequity is to provide exposure and access.
Exposing students to experiences and individuals who will inspire them set higher expectations of themselves, then offering them access to training to prepare them to reach these higher expectations is the key.
Our program allows students to:
The Chrysalis Program offers hope, empowerment, sisterhood, encouragement, affirmation
and acceptance to an underserved population of girls.
The Chrysalis Program offers Saturday Sessions, Tea Talk with Teens, Summer Camp, Afterschool Programming, Counseling, Service Opportunities, and International Travel. These interactive offerings in conjunction with community events and field trips keep our families engaged and foster growth and transformation to inspire the success of our students. Each of these initiatives have a unique model, that has a proven track record of success among those who participate.
The Chrysalis Program addresses societal blemishes such as:
- Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps
- Chicago Violence
- Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Self Hate
- Childhood Depression
- Hair and Body Shaming
- Suicidal Youth
The inception of the Chrysalis Program took place at the intersection between wanting to reach the world with a message of love & wholeness and needing to make an immediate change in our own community right here on Chicago's Southside.
The Chrysalis Program does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.