BUILD has been lifting up youth in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods since 1969. It started with street violence intervention and gang detachments, but has now expanded to after-school programs; academic and college counseling; art, music, and sports leagues; community outreach; and mental health care. BUILD youth were teens and tweens growing up in the constant trauma of gun violence, from difficult homes, and at the highest risk of losing the battle with the streets. Referrals came from frustrated school principals, probation officers, anxious parents, and even police who would bring someone right through our front doors, saying “I really don’t want to arrest this kid. Work with him.”

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