Teen Corps Opens Door to Community Service, Creativity, Internships 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 

In June, BAPA Executive Director Mary Jo Viero unveiled the BAPA Teen Service Corps, an initiative to help willing youth build community service hours to satisfy school requirementsuse their talents to promote area businesses and create public service messages of kindness, collaboration, and eco-friendly actions, and benefit from workreadiness and personal narrative writing workshops as well as potential internship opportunities. 

“Teen Corps is their organization,” said Viero. “We hope they will not only use it to discover volunteer opportunities but create their own contributions.” 

Currently, there are approximately ten Teen Corps members, but the door is still open for anyone, between the ages of 12-18, who wants to join. Activities will be age appropriate. 

Since 1998, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has required students to complete 40 service-learning hours to graduate. CPS.edu cites this reason “Service learning engages students in projects that serve the community while building social, civic, and academic skills.” Many Catholic schools have a similar requirement. 

Beyond school requirements, Teen Corps members have front row access to various community service events occurring in the Beverly/Morgan Park area. They will be allowed to create their own “service” activities, such as business promo videos to help businesses struggling to emerge from the devastating impact of COVID-19 as well as social media campaigns for promoting kindness and ecofriendly actions. 

Members will also benefit from internships and workreadiness, personal narrative writing, and other workshops. 

For more information, email Tina Bell, tbell@bapa.org. 


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