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Greencorps Youth Program Teaches Teens About Sustainability

The Greencorps Youth Program (GCYP) summer employment program helps Chicago youths from 15 to 19 years old find career and service projects related to horticulture, urban forestry, ecological restoration and bicycle maintenance. Now in its third year, the One Summer Chicago partnership is providing summer programming for approximately 800 youth participants, bringing the total number to 2,300 so far.

Through the GCYP, Chicago public school students meet with instructors, mentors and community group leaders to engage teens in summer learning and meaningful work experiences. The program is designed to expose youth to sustainability in Chicago through hands-on experience, while also empowering them to explore career pathways and strengthen community connections.

Participants gain knowledge and experience in areas that include landscaping, urban agriculture, urban forestry, ecological restoration, bike safety, bike mechanics and bicycle advocacy and marketing. This year, each GCYP student is eligible to earn the City Cyclist and Urban Sustainability digital badges, which are designed to visually represent and reward their achievements. Any GCYP teen completing both badges will earn a bicycle at the conclusion of the program.

For more information on the launch of the One Summer Chicago Program, visit