On a daily basis, our students are affected by the violence that plagues some Chicago communities. Many of them have been personally touched by violence, each day carrying the trauma within them as they come to school and make every effort to earn a high school diploma. Voices for Peace is an anti-violence initiative that teaches youth conflict resolution skills, how to avoid the triggers that routinely lead to explosive violence that takes too many young lives.
Our students report that the skills they learn in the peace circles (the primary element of Voices for Peace), have helped them to navigate their daily lives in school and in the neighborhood, more aware of the role they can play in either the escalation or de-escalation of violence. Some have even reported that they decided against gang retaliation after sessions in the peace circles.
For the past 38 years, ASA has opened its doors to youth on the west side of Chicago who do not fit into the traditional public school setting. We accept students just as they are; we bolster them with academic and social supports to raise the odds that they will graduate and join the thousands we've graduated over the years. Voices for Peace has become an important part of our work. To continue our work, we need your help. A $20 donation will buy transportation for students; a $50 donation helps pay the salaries of the mentors; a $100 donation will help train another mentor and expand the peace circles so more students can participate. Thanks so much for your support.