Where Possibility Lives: Overcoming the Aspiration Gap

The Board and staff at Chicago Youth Centers were proud to be featured authors in Voices for Children’s 2015 Illinois Kids Count report, which compiles data to assess the well-being of children throughout the state. The goal of this report is to give lawmakers a better understanding of challenges facing children and families, and to advocate on behalf of children living in poverty. I was also honored to be a panelist with some of my peers at a luncheon hosted by Voices for Children this spring. In both the essay and my comments at the luncheon, I reflected on the difficulties surrounding our kids--difficulties that are not as apparent, but significant when considering our goal to put these kids on a path to success. I knew I had to address the aspiration gap faced by too many children today. For so many children living in poverty, they can’t even imagine what exists beyond their backyard. They don’t know about educational or professional opportunities, and they aren’t given the tools or opportunities to aspire for more.

Chicago Youth Centers gives our kids the chance to aspire. We equalize access to opportunities and resources so children have the tools to succeed and the confidence to dream. Supporters like you enable us to engage in this critical work, and we cannot thank you enough for believing in our kids.

I hope you enjoy this year’s essay, which you can read here. I also hope that, together, we continue to aspire to build a better future for our children, our families, and our city.

Thank you for your dedication and investment,

Barbara Mosacchio President and CEO