SHE Chicago is a nonprofit organization that aims to transform inner-city teen girls into powerful community leaders of the future. The organization grew out of a need for tailored programs that meet the unique needs of young women of color. SHE Chicago provides leadership training that fosters critical thinking and encourages girls to reflect on the role they play within their families, communities, and the world at-large.
In May 2020, two SHE Chicago students, referred to as SHE Sisters, were killed in a senseless act of gun violence. Due to the pandemic, SHE Sisters coped with the loss of their friends in isolation. When SHE Chicago resumed programming in person, the organization focused on providing mental health support to allow girls to grieve with those who understood the pain they felt. Later, SHE Sisters rechanneled their pain into social change, creating a social media campaign titled “Urban Girls Against Violence” to tell the stories of their lost sisters. Later, the organization raised money to send 15 girls to Washington, D.C., where they told their stories at the 2020 March on Washington.
With support from The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund, SHE Chicago will provide a hands-on leadership development experience at the Disney Imagination campus. Recognizing that its program participants have faced many adult-like challenges, SHE Chicago seeks to offer its girls an opportunity to learn in a place that is symbolic of childhood joy. SHE Sisters will gather for two days at Disney’s EPCOT to explore values-based leadership and team building with experts at Disney. They will learn to define their own leadership styles, building on their previous advocacy efforts.
The project will support 15 girls between the ages of 14 and 18 who attend EPIC Academy, a charter high school in South Shore. SHE Chicago believes that this project will allow girls to expand their horizons while envisioning themselves as valuable contributors to the global community. To learn more about SHE Chicago, please visit the organization’s website and social media pages: