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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 

Amazing Kids! of the Month for June, 2000: 
Amazing Young Heroes, Chicago City Year, Chicago, Illinois!
The City Year logo 

Quotes of the month:

"Our goal is to inspire these young people to break down social barriers, to volunteer, become a positive role model for others to follow, and to be inclusive."

Noël Freke, Corps member and coordinator, 
Chicago City Year Young Heroes Program

"I joined Young Heroes because it gave me a chance to make a difference in my community, and to make myself feel better about the things that I've helped improve. My favorite part was helping the homeless by preparing a meal and eating with them." 

Richard, age 12, member of Young Heroes

"Young Heroes has let me know it is cool to do community service. I have been in the program for two years now. Every year I have met someone different."

Jessica, age 14, member of Young Heroes

This month, Amazing Kids!  is proud to feature the amazing Young Heroes from the Chicago City Year Young Heroes program, Chicago, Illinois.  These caring and dedicated young people are proving just how important young people can be in helping make a difference in our communities. Read their story and who knows?  Maybe you'll want to join a City Year Young Heroes program in your area!

Amazing Young Heroes help make a difference 
in the life of a younger kids.

What is City Year and their Young Heroes Program?
From the Young Heroes Website at:

Young Heroes Motto:
"Redefining what it means to be young in America.  Challenging who we consider to be heroes."

The Young Heroes program is operated by City Year, which is part of the AmeriCorps national service network.  City Year's mission is to "put idealism to work by tapping the civic power of young people for an annual campaign of idealism." 

Young Heroes is a program that teaches kids about community service and leadership skills.  The program is designed for 6th, 7th and 8th-graders.  Beginning on Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday in January, these amazing young leaders spend 16  Saturdays (wow!) helping to make their communities a better place, while learning more about themselves and developing new skills. 

These Young Heroes are led by City Year corps members (ages 17-24) and volunteers from the community. The Young Heroes program uses the power of diversity in showing kids how they can work together to make a difference in their communities, and help inspire others into service. Young Heroes teaches its members to value service and volunteerism. 

Young Heroes participate in a variety of service projects such as: 

  • tutor in after-school programs
  • teach peer education curricula
  • transform vacant lots into community gardens
  • visit with and serve along-side senior citizens
  • participate in immunization drives
  • promote healthy ways of living
  • restore green space
  • plant trees
  • paint murals
  • lead younger children in service
Young Heroes not only help inspire more kids to get involved in community service at their schools, but they serve as role models to people of all ages. 

You can find Young Heroes in ten cities across the country including: Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, Columbia, SC, Columbus, OH, Detroit, MI, Philadelphia, PA, Rhode Island, San Jose, CA, and Seattle/King County, WA.

Think you might know a Young Hero? 

Think you might be one?  Want to volunteer?  Contact them for more information:

Phone: (617) 927-2452
Visit the City Year website at:
Email Young Heroes at:

An Amazing Letter...

Here is an amazing letter from a Chicago City Year corp member volunteer, telling about her work with the amazing Young Heroes in Chicago:

Dear Amazing Kids!,

After looking over your web site I was compelled to write you in order to recognize the young heroes I work with.  My name is Noël Freke. Currently I am doing a year of service with City Year Chicago, an Americorps program. 

One of my duties at City Year is to help plan and facilitate a program called Young Heroes.  This Saturday program engages middle school students from the North, West and South side of Chicago in community service and workshops.  I not only would like to recognize them on a local level in Chicago, but also on a national level.  There are 11 City Year sites across the country, in 11 of America's largest cities. 

Our goal is to inspire these young people to break down social barriers, to volunteer, become a positive role model for others to follow, and to be inclusive.  The Young Heroes session begins in February and continues until April.  They are involved in events such as: Earth Day, Chicago Cultural Center's "Theater Fever," Chicago Park District service projects, visiting an AIDS clinic, planning their own projects, and many more.  In summary, they are truly some of Chicago's future leaders. 

If you would like to know more about our Young Heroes program at City Year Chicago, please call us at: (312) 464-9899 or send a letter to:

City Year Chicago
attn:  Noël Freke
545 N. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Thank-you so much for your time.


Noël Freke

Bulls Team Up Day!

Noël told Amazing Kids! about the latest amazing event that the Chicago City Year Young Heroes participated in, the Bulls Team Up Day!  These amazing Young Heroes actually got a chance to participate in a service project with the Chicago Bulls!  Wow!  Way to go, Young Heroes! 

Not only did they get to help other kids, but they got to meet the Chicago Bulls basketball team too!  And if you're a basketball fan, then that is one very cool opportunity!

Camp City Year
A couple of "happy campers" at Camp City Year

The Young Heroes even got a chance to go to camp this year! City Year sponsors camps for children during their Spring and summer vacations.

During the week of April 17th, 2000, Chicago City Year sponsored several fun Spring Break Camps, and nearly 300 Chicago Public Schools students got to participate!  This was the first year that City Year Chicago provided three camps, and they are happy to report, they were all a complete success!

The other Spring camps included:

  • The amazing Young Heroes program provided a camp for middle schoolers at Gill Park in Chicago. 
  • CYCLE created an overnight camp for grade schoolers at Camp Rosenthal, the Chicago Youth Centers' camp in Michigan.
  • The High School Service Learning Academy initiated a high school camp at Humboldt Park in Chicago.
Read more about Camp City Year on the City Year website at:

Are you helping others in your own community?  If so, Amazing Kids! wants to hear about it!  Send us your own amazing stories about how you are making a difference to:
Who knows?  Maybe you'll be our next Amazing Kids! of the Month!

For More Information on How You can Become an Amazing Young Hero:

Visit the Young Heroes website at:
Phone: (617) 927-2452
Visit the City Year website at:
Email Young Heroes at:

If you live in Chicago, contact the Executive Director of City Year Chicago, Craig Huffman:


Mail: 545 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: 312-464-9899
Fax: 312-464-1736 

About Americorps:
Reprinted from the City Year website at:

"AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps, engages Americans in service to meet the nation's critical needs in areas of education, public safety, the environment, and other human needs. 

AmeriCorps offers opportunities across the nation for individuals of all ages who want to devote a year to service. AmeriCorps members tutor children, serve as mentors for teens, renovate low-income housing, immunize children against preventable diseases, and restore national parks and coastlines. 

In exchange for their year of service, AmeriCorps members can earn a small living allowance and an education award of $4,725 to pay for college or vocational training. Now in its fourth year, AmeriCorps has provided opportunities for more than 90,000 Americans to serve their country. For more information or to apply call 1-800-942-2677 or visit"

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!

Here's an idea you might want to try:


If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors. If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at:


 It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!


Back to the Amazing Kids! of the Month Index

For more information about Amazing Kids!, please contact Alyse Rome at:
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