Civic Leadership Foundation

Empowering Young People to Lead

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Civic Leadership Education

CLF Programs

The core of every CLF program is Civic Leadership Education - a comprehensive, project-based program designed to empower young people toward a deeper sense of responsibility for self and to community, preparing them for college, career and civic life. 

Civic Leadership Education focuses on three broad categories of skills: collaboration, resourcefulness and accountability.  Each phase of the program provides an opportunity for youth to think, act and reflect on those skills through systematic lesson plans that encourage young people to learn and practice those capabilities they will need to be successful, engaged adults.  Through readings, discussions, reflective activities and self-directed projects, young people take on increasingly responsible leadership roles that culminate in Civic Leadership Projects in which the youth identify a community concern, and then plan, execute and evaluate a project to address that concern.  CLF’s programs seek to develop and nurture a growing sense of agency among participants and to connect them constructively to their community.

Civic Leadership Education programs can be adapted to various lengths (from 40 hours to multi-year) and are currently in use in public and charter schools, afterschool programs, juvenile justice facilities and community-based social service organizations throughout Chicago and beyond. 

In addition, CLF programs are combined with internships, job placements, and integrated with other activities to accomplish the following goals:

Career and Job Readiness - Youth Working for Success - Integrating Civic Leadership Education with job placements or internships to prepare young people for work and enable them to have a positive impact on their community

Violence Prevention and Mitigation - Working with Social Service organizations to implement CLE programs and engaging mentors to work with the youth to positively impact their communities

Service Learning and Civic Readiness – Implementing civic projects in middle and high schools through the Civic Leadership Education program provides opportunities for service learning and leadership.

School Readiness – Transitions to High School and College - Empowerment and responsibility is essential for academic success and for effectively navigating major school transitions.