The Youth Development Services department provides activities that support young people to improve their academic achievement and life skills development. The program partners with neighborhood public schools and operates the following programs.

Program Highlights

Contact: Robert Conlon, Director (773) 381-3652,
or by email:

Career Readiness Program (CRP) is a youth employment and college readiness program for youth ages 16 to 24. Through intense Case Management, we offer services to both In-School-Youth (ISY) and Out-of-School-Youth (OSY). We provide paid and unpaid work experiences, drop-out prevention activities, alternative secondary school offerings, occupational skills training, leadership development, adult mentoring and counseling. Through the mentoring and leadership of our staff the students are able to achieve goals such as staying motivated to graduate high school, re-engaging with high school, succeeding in the workplace, and prepare a post-secondary education plan for college or permanent employment. Our hardworking and highly motivated youth participate in workplace skills-building activities and trainings, internships, leadership development, and college exploration and application assistance.

HARP (Howard Area Reading Program) serves approximately 40 Gale Math & Science Academy students who are performing significantly below their grade level peers in reading and who been recommended for literacy intervention. This 40-year-old program offers one-to-one tutoring and is held at Gale Math & Science Academy on Tuesdays and Thursdays for second graders and on Mondays and Wednesdays for third and fourth graders. The instructional framework is based on the National Louis University clinic model. Program training and on-site monitoring are conducted by HACC staff who are National Louis trained supervisors.

The SHARP (Seeing a Healthy Active Rogers Park) program is a multi-pronged and collaborative approach aimed at preventing the overweight and obesity epidemic among the Rogers Park community by enabling participants to make informed healthy decisions. SHARP provides engaging activities to 200+ low-income youth and adults, within two focus areas: Nutrition Education and Physical Fitness. A Registered Dietitian (RD) spreads the healthy living message through creative, age-appropriate workshops in Howard Area Community Center’s Youth Development Services Programs.

School Based After-School Programs (Greensleeves (at Kilmer Elementary) and Project JAM! (at Jordan Community School) are Youth-Voice and Social-Justice themed afterschool programs that serve 4th-6th grade youth. These programs help youth to improve academic performance, develop social skills and prepare for high school. We take a root causes to approaching and addressing issues for change in our communities. Confidence is gained through following curriculum that involves workshops on Identity, Oppression, Leadership and Non-Violent Issue Based Activism.

The HACCClubhouse Network (Teen Arts and Technology Center) provides a creative and safe after-school learning environment where young people (ages 14-18) from under-served communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology. The Clubhouse provides opportunities for youth to exchange multicultural information with other teens worldwide. Youth are introduced to computer technologies relevant to 21st century careers in a global arena. We encourage youth to work on projects related to their own interests and aim to create a sense of community where young people work together with support and inspiration from adult mentors. Areas of Development may include: Graphic Design, Web Design, Video Production, Music Engineering, Robotics, 3-D Design Visual Arts and Animation.

New Era Project (NEP) is a Gang Intervention & Prevention program that engages youth in activities leading to pro-social outcomes and to aims to prevent younger youth from engaging in gang activity. NEP conducts street outreach in Rogers Park for youth ages 16-18 to provide case management, referrals and resources to youth & families. NEP focuses on educating youth ages 6-12 at risk of joining gangs about consequences of gang affiliation and identifies positive alternatives.

The Peace Angels are an offshoot of the New Era Project (NEP.) The program provides pro-social opportunities for youth to express themselves and to have their voices heard. Youth “take to the streets” and disseminate information (fliers, cards, and brochures) about various opportunities for community members in the Rogers Park area. They are part of a collective organization, based on street knowledge and hands-on engagement. They also work to create awareness of opportunities for social change.

Summer Programs

HACC Summer Camp is an Urban Camp experience for youth ages 9-13. Camp is offered for 6 weeks; Monday through Friday; and for 5 hours per day. The purpose is to provide safe spaces for young people to spend the summer months while working on pro-social educational & recreational projects. Activities may include: Arts, Sports, Bicycle Mechanics, Boxing, Ceramics, Dance, Theater, Social Justice & Community Activism, Field Trips and weekly trips to the Beach.

Convention Connection 101 is an Apprenticeship program for teens that is offered 3 times per year (Spring, Summer and Fall.) The Apprenticeship provides teens with opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Our programs will give you a hands-on experience on projects while working alongside skilled professionals that will help you develop marketing job skills and expose you to rewarding careers. Youth can increase confidence, build skills and professional values like excellence, leadership, teamwork, respect, commitment, and innovation. Youth earn stipends that are awarded based upon participation.

Convention Connection 102 is an Internship program for teens who have advanced through our Internship program. Interns work on Community Advocacy projects over the summer based on the professional opportunities and tools that our center provides. We work with youth to create a personalized project plan. This may be a PSA, public performance or Graphic Design project. It may be an album produced with our recording and sound editing equipment & software, a music video produced with our video editing software, or a comic book produced with our professional imaging software. The Internship is a paying position and youth are paid minimum wage for their efforts. Program duration is 6 weeks and youth are expected to work 16 hours per week.


Youth Arts & Technology Center

1527 W. Morse Avenue (directions here)
(773) 381-3652

For locations and contact information for all of our programs, visit the Contact page.

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