Veterans & Youth: A Match Made In Healing
How It All Began
Researchers have reflected on the striking parallels between the experiences of child soldiers around the world and gang members in the United States; accordingly, the many lessons learned from international child soldier research may also apply to gang members in the United States (Kerig, Wainryb, Twali, & Chalpo, 2013).
Of the 41 youth who participated in a recent cohort pre-assessment, 22 answered "yes" when asked if they had "ever been in a place where a war was going on around them," and 36 responded "yes" when asked whether they had "seen or heard about the violent death of a loved one." In many youth, these experiences cause reactions that parallel many of the post-traumatic stress symptoms that veterans experience.
How It Works
Urban Warriors reduces the traumatic effects of violence on “American child soldiers” and supports youth participants through 16 weeks of structured programming. Sessions are facilitated by military veterans, who are trained and supported by YSVP staff. The curriculum consists of five thematic areas: belonging, positive identity development, cognitive restructuring, coping, and community engagement.
Support Our Urban Warriors
Urban Warriors is generously supported by Allstate Insurance Company, the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, the Boeing Company, BMO Harris Bank, Chicago Bulls Charities, the Leo S. Guthman Fund, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Nurmi Family Foundation, Michael Reese Health Trust, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
It is only through the support from our foundation, corporate partners, and private donations that we are able to do this important work.