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Chicago New Orleans Service Learning Trip

"Solidarity Not Charity"

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Our Story

We are a group of students, teachers, and parents of diverse backgrounds from across the toughest neighborhoods of Chicago. Originally, we started with two CPS schools: Thomas Kelly High School and Little Village Lawndale High School. Over five years, the project has evolved to include two additional schools: Percy Julian High School and Gage Park High School. Each year, we come together crossing the city's deep lines of segregation to rebuild New Orleans and improve our own communities in myriad ways.

What We Need & What You Get

Our biggest expense is transportation to, from, and within New Orleans.  We will be traveling to New Orleans from Chicago on a 56-passenger coach bus and around New Orleans in two 12-passenger vans, which will cost our group about $11,000 for our week's worth of travels.  Our group will be housed by the United Methodist Church on Carrollton St. in New Orleans for $10 per head per night, which for our group of 55 people for 6 nights will cost $3,300.  For our sustenance, our students plan the menus and ingredients prior to our departure to New Orleans, and when we arrive, we do a couple gigantic grocery runs and cook our own meals, which costs our group about $4,000.  Lastly, any miscellaneous expenses such as ticket costs for museums and shows in New Orleans and supplies for our work (work gloves, rags, goggles, masks, etc.) total up to about $1,000.

The Impact

Many students from the west and south sides of Chicago never get the chance to explore other neighborhoods in Chicago, let alone all that other beautiful cities have to offer.  This opportunity to do service learning in New Orleans not only gives students a chance to get out of Chicago for their spring break, but also allows them to truly earn their seat on the bus by organizing with students across the city around issues of public education, gentrification, community violence, and fair trade. Students also study grant writing to secure funding from various philanthropic institutions. In New Orleans, we rehabilitate houses and learn about communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. We have specifically chosen to focus on historically neglected communities still not adequately supported to rebuild some 6 years later. Your contribution helps make all this possible.

Other Ways You Can Help

Spread the word about our group!  Not enough is heard in the media about all the positive contributions of Chicago's youth, so tell the world yourself!  Let everyone know about our students' efforts to collaborate with youth across the city, the midwest, and in New Orleans in order to become agents of change in a society of many injustices. 

Team on This Campaign: