I’m sure that by now many of us have become bored with quarantine. Most of us actually miss socializing and physically interacting with people. Well, there is a solution for that. You can get connected with Connect Chicago, a program co-founded by Walter Payton sophomores Rem Johannknecht and Lucy Gold.
COVID-19 has inhibited our ability to live our lives normally. According to Gold, the social and emotional effects of the virus led her and her peers to begin the program. “It started of course while school was off and we were thinking about our grandparents who were affected by social isolation. We wanted to do something, but it’s hard to do something without putting yourself at risk and risking other people. We thought this was a really good way to deal with the social-emotional side of all of this.”
The goal of Connect Chicago started with wanting to help Chicagoans any way they could during the pandemic, but since it’s launch in March their goals have expanded. “It started where we were helping people who were isolated,” said Gold. “Now we’re helping CPS students who need tutoring and we’re tutoring for free with high school students all across the city. We even help college students. Right now we’re just trying to reach people and kids who need tutoring.” This has been a difficult time for CPS students as we’ve recently begun e-learning. It’s good to know that Connect Chicago is here to help.
Even if you don’t need tutoring, there are many ways that you can get involved. According to Gold, Connect Chicago is looking for help. “Right now we’re really big on tutoring so we really want people to tutor. We have lots of volunteers but we want more volunteers.”
While the tutoring aspect continues to evolve, Connect Chicago has more to offer the public. “We also have other programs. One where we’re connecting with those who are isolated through daily phone calls,” said Gold. “We’re always looking for people who want to receive daily phone calls and those who want to volunteer.”
This program will definitely benefit anyone who is involved from both an educational and social-emotional standpoint. “We hope that everyone gains a meaningful experience from this. Whether you’re receiving service or providing it, it goes both ways,” said Gold. “You’re giving back but you’re also getting back by having that human and social connection, and by showing that there is good in the world, there are people that are out there who want to help you and hear from you. We want to help educationally as well as socially and emotionally. I think it’s important that there are people who make clear that they want to be with you and care about you during these times.”
I believe that this program is beautiful for everyone to take part in. If someone you know needs/wants tutoring or to receive a daily phone call, you can sign them up (with their consent) on the Connect Chicago website (click here). You can follow Connect Chicago on Instagram at connect_chicago, call their phone number: 312-772-6064, or email them at [email protected]. With that being said, get involved and connect with Chicago!
By Monique Petty-Ashmeade, Seniors, Brooks College Prep