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Do you want to become more engaged with neighboring communities? Want to develop valuable experience in Public Sector Consulting and Management? Join the Community Action Bureau (CAB)!
The Community Action Bureau is a Harris Student Organization. It began as a joint project of PPR and the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement but has grown into its own initiative within the Harris community.
Our purpose is to provide Harris students an avenue where they can actively participate in building the technical, operational, and strategic capacity of nonprofits on Chicago’s South and West sides. Students will build experience in project management, practical problem solving, and applying core Harris frameworks and skills.
Simultaneously, CAB connects nonprofits with a diverse and experienced group of graduate students, whereby they can share their organization’s perspective on the local community and policy issues on the ground.
Harris CAB fellows utilize a wide range of skills in their work with these community organizations, including but not limited to; impact evaluation, database management and optimization, promoting organizational efficiency, facilitating donor and grant management, and business development.
CAB partners with South and West side Chicago nonprofit organizations. Fellows apply in the fall quarter and then work with these community organizations over winter and spring quarters. Fellows help organizations to help build capacity for service through enhancing organizational efficiency, increasing program delivery, providing impact measurement, and fulfilling other strategic needs.
CAB Fellows are selected after a competitive application process. Fellows work in teams of 3-4 and are expected to commit roughly 3-4 hours per week per fellow to work with their assigned partner organizations. CAB Fellows can expect to gain experience in project consulting, client management, and strategic engagement, as well as gain technical skills through specific projects, such as financial modeling or business strategy.
Mission: Hope Works, located in Woodlawn, strives to improve employment outcomes for Woodlawn residents. Hope Works offers one-on- one case management services and employment services. Recently, Hope Works launched an arts program for youth; youth create their own ceramics art pieces and then learn the tools to market and sell their art.
CAB fellows assisted Hope Works on projects concerning business development and program evaluation. Hope Works had been looking to develop a sustainable and impactful service delivery model. This was to ensure their procedures are standardized and that they can monitor effectiveness of their programs.
Secondly, Hope Works desired to establish robust evaluation tools for their programs. The deliverables for this project were: 1) Recommendations for an appropriate and effective service delivery model to best serve clients 2) Establishment of evaluation processes and procedures for the organization to implement immediately based on best practices and other evidence.
Mission: My Block, My Hood, My City (MBMHMC) provides underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood. They currently undertake this mission through their “My Block, My Hood, My City Explorers Program”, which takes groups of underprivileged youth on one day field trips through the different areas of the City of Chicago, and beyond.
Fellows assisted MBMHMC with designing a scalable business model to facilitate the continued rapid growth of the organization. MBMHMC has experienced tremendous success and interest since its launch in 2014. The leaders of the organization had wanted to formalize this model for national expansion. This required the creation of an official data collection and storage methodology to evaluate outcomes, documentation of current program structure, design of new programming components, and competitive landscape analysis. Survey design and deployment methodologies was also necessary to facilitate future program evaluation activities. The leadership of this organization was meant to use this formalized business model to establish credibility with potential donors, improve managerial efficiency, and tailor expansion strategies.
Andrew Yaspan, Primary Student Contact
Vicky Stavropoulos, Secondary Student Contact
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