This Is ME, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 4315 North Richmond, #1S Chicago IL 60618 USA

Mission: This Is ME fosters substance in the world of adolescent and teen girls through programs designed for the “whole girl.” With the guidance of exceptional women, girls have the opportunity to explore their individual strengths and learn to sustain positive relationships in a supportive, creative, and open environment.
Results: In just 10 years, This Is ME has o served more than 700 girls between the ages of 7 and 17, o delivered more than 70 programming initiatives, o introduced participants to countless female role models, and o engaged girls in special events, field trips, and productions every year In the past year alone, This Is ME o served 140 girls through 15 programming components and field trips, o provided 31 of This Is ME’s neediest families with in-kind and financial resources, o welcomed 42 new volunteers, and o began quarterly training 0pportunities to ensure volunteers understand our mission and approach to serving girls. We would like to share some of the achievements of these activities and here focus on the weekly school-based programs during the 2008-2009 school year (update to come soon): * The Hanson Park School Reading Enrichment Program exceeded all four of its objectives: o At least 60% of participants will express a greater interest in reading. Actual 79% o At least 60% of participants will improve their vocabulary.  Actual 65% o At least 50% of participants will demonstrate increased confidence in reading aloud.  Actual 53% o At least 40% of participants will adopt new study skills. Actual 79% o Plus 93% responded that the program helped them learn something new about themselves. o 93% responded that the program helped them learn something new about their classmates. o 93% responded that the program helped them feel better about themselves. * The 8th Grade Girls Circle at Saint Andrew School set out to build positive peer relationships among the group of 13.  We made the following strides: o 69% said the program helped them learn something new about their classmates. o 62% said the program helped them appreciate someone either they didn’t know or didn’t like before. o 100% said they learned something they can apply to their real life as far as having self-confidence, accepting others, or making good choices in their relationships. o 93% said the program helped make their 8th grade year better than it would have been without it. * Participants of the 7th Grade Girls Circle at Saint Andrew School who completed their end-of-year evaluation unanimously felt that the program helped them learn something new about their classmates; appreciate someone either they didn’t know or didn’t like before; learn something they can apply to their real life as far as having self-confidence, accepting others, or making good choices in their relationships; and made their 7th grade year better than it would have been without it.  Some comments that stood out: o I learned that people aren’t just what they seem like, they go deeper than that. o I was never really sure about myself; I feel better than I did about myself. o I learned a lot of them (classmates) were feeling the same way as me, too, just not saying it like me. o Now I know how I can talk to others without hurting their feelings. o I know now that some people aren’t as strong and as put together as they act. o I know not to judge people because they just want to be accepted and we’re all the same in the long run in terms of our wanting to be accepted. * By the end of the 8 weeks that the 6th Grade Girls Circle at Saint Andrew School met, o 55% of the girls learned something new about themselves. o 55% leaned something new about their classmates. o 73% said the program helped them feel better about themselves. o 64% learned to appreciate someone they didn’t know or didn’t like before. o 82% learned something they could apply to their real life. Girls commented at the end: * I have good things about myself that people see, too. * I’m more open to myself and other people; I’m true to myself. * Before I attended “This Is ME,” I doubted myself, but now I feel a lot better. * I think twice now about what I do. * Some feedback from participants of the Homework Heroes Program: o If I didn’t have Homework Heroes, I’d have to work harder and I’d be totally stressed out. o Homework Heroes (HH) is awesome.  Everybody should be in HH and if they’re not, they should sign right up because it’s a very, very, very good program and it helps you with your homework. o If you need help with your homework they help you and they teach you lessons about it.  They really have good activities.
Target demographics: Adolescent and teen girls on the northwest side of Chicago
Direct beneficiaries per year: 150
Geographic areas served: Primarily the Northwest side of Chicago
Programs: Homework Heroes. In partnership with the Junior League of Chicago, This Is ME introduced Homework Heroes in 2006. The purpose of Homework Heroes is to provide study skills training, homework assistance, and general life skills education to area girls in grades 3-8. Logan Square Library Drop-In. This Is ME has partnered with the Logan Square Library (3030 W. Fullerton) since January of 2006 to bring a monthly program to adolescent girls ages 10-15. These programs consist of theme-based discussions, snacks, guest speakers, and fun activities and are held the last Saturday of each month in the afternoon. For information about our next session at the library, please call Jennifer O'Grady at 773.818.6964 or Lucia Guidice at 773.227.0643. TIME. TIME (acronym for This Is ME) introduces girls to the importance of analyzing the various sources that influence their values. As girls grow in self-awareness, they improve their ability to put their ideas and opinions into words, to participate in a group setting and to move from ideas to action. School-Based. This Is ME has partnered with Hanson Park School from the Spring of 2003 until the Spring of 2009 to bring a weekly girls program to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. This weekly program consists of theme-based discussions, activities, guest speakers, and journaling. During the 2009-2010 School Year, This Is ME moved one school over to Reinberg School. We have also worked with Saint Andrew, Portage Park School, and St. Ignatius College Prep. Exploration. Each semester during the school year we offer a 6-week Exploration Series. Some of our past Exploration themes include Cultural Exploration, Career Exploration, Impov Exploration, Music Exploration, and Fine Arts Exploration, all at the Logan Square library. Workshops and Special Initiatives. This Is ME occasionally offers workshops and mini-programs for both members and non-members. Some examples of past workshops and mini-programs include: Goofball Olympics West African Drumming Animal Appreciation Writing Photography

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the pleasure of working with this non-profit from both a hands-on volunteer working directly with the girls benefiting from the groups programming, and as a behind the scenes board member working to manage the organization. The administrative team at work for TIME is dedicated, professional, creative, compassionate and welcoming. They have put together some very beneficial programming for young girls. They try to cater to a volunteers interest, abilities and level of commitment.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Of course, the impact on the girls and families This Is ME serves is the most important success it’s had, but I would point to the organization’s ability to work with limited resources to make such a strong impact as its greatest success. They owe this to being able to translate their budget from dollar amounts to in-kind opportunities – what/who can they attract and utilize without spending actual money? They look to three important areas: 1) partnering with other groups to use resources efficiently: For example, they don’t have their own space; they currently partner with a park, schools, and a library to drastically reduce overhead. And they work with Girls in the Game, the Junior League of Chicago, Metropolitan Family Services, and others to expand programming opportunities in a number of ways; 2) relying on volunteers to run the organization, including a very active Board of Directors, program directors, a Resource Development Coordinator, a Marketing pro, interns from universities, and dozens of direct and indirect support volunteers, and even the volunteer hours of the Executive Director and other stipened employees; 3) making the most of in-kind donations and free resources. In-kind donations tend to be program and office supplies so they get creative in planning projects and tasks based on what they have on-hand. Free resources tend to be technology products like Mailchimp that allow them to maintain high standards of professionalism without heavy financial investments.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

every level of the organization from the progress of the Board of Directors to the outcomes of every one of our programs.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to have paid full-time staff.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

The level of professionalism and achievement it sustains with limited resources.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a former board member and volunteer and current donor. I have been involved with This Is ME for over 10 years and the organization has continued to improve with each year involved in the lives of young girls in Chicago.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching participants gain confidence in themselves and form positive outlooks on life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to expand the donor base.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Since getting involved with This Is ME, I have been super impressed by the creative solutions and "can do" attitude that the staff, board, and volunteers have to make a difference for adolescent girls. It is clear that everyone involved is clear about the mission of the organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've witnessed positive changes in girls' esteem and self-expression throughout the duration of a program...it's so heartening to see and so important at that age...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I recently got involved with this organization that reaches out to young adolescent girls. They provide so many outstanding programs and opportunities for these girls. This is Me is truly making a difference in so many girls' lives. I am honored to be a part of this great organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

This Is ME, Inc. is comprised of an incredible team of volunteers and board members that are truly dedicated to bettering the lives of young women in the Chicago area. Attention to detail, care and effort go into every aspect of this non-profit, making it a well organized unit. An inspirational cause, which draws amazingly talented girls, This Is ME, Inc. strives to provide each participant with programs tailored to their interests.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

fundraising. It is important to ensure that each year the girls will be able to participate in after school/weekend programs that interest them. Although we work hard to make this happen, we are always looking for new and interesting opportunities!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I've been a member of the Board of TIME for 2 years, and I've loved every second. I've met such amazing women, worked with incredible girls during the programs, and have learned so much from all of them. My favorite thing about TIME is the passion of everyone involved. It's so wonderful to see such a group of devoted, talented women come together around such a great cause. Every activity, from Board meetings to public events, is inspirational and exciting. I'm so proud of everything we've accomplished, and I so look forward to the future as we continue to grow. I led an 8-week writing workshop for the girls this summer, and I have been so pleased to watch their progress. In the beginning, they were hesitant to even read aloud in front of the group. Now, they're workshopping their pieces with each other, and giving each other constructive, positive feedback. It's always a competition to see who gets to read their own work to the group first! They've become so comfortable and confident with their writing - it's been a privilege to be a part of it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I started volunteering for This Is ME when soon after I moved to Chicago from Boston. I began volunteering as the monthly Logan Square Drop In program. I loved the hands-on programs we delivered to program participants. The girls in the program really seemed so happy and excited to be with us and very open to learning new things and making new friends. Next I joined the Programming Committee and then the Board. I was amazed and continue to be amazed at the talent women in this organization who make time from their very busy schedules to make this program the best it can be. It's a very supportive, fun environment for volunteers and Board members alike! I cannot say enough good things about this organization!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In addition to being a Board member, I also am the Program Director for the Logan Square monthly drop in program so I have the pleasure of working with the girls we serve directly.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I have had the pleasure of being a part of This Is Me from the start. I have watched it grow to reach the incredible number of girls that it does today thanks to the tireless efforts of its leadership and strong volunteer base. I look forward to witnessing This Is Me continue to make an impact on shaping the lives of Chicago's young women for years to come.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This is Me does a great job in sharing the successes/ milestones of its members while always remaining mindful of the trust that their young members put in the organization. Year after year we hear about the progress that the individuals make through the monthly newsletter and at various This Is Me sponsored events.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I think that all the volunteers here are great. I don’t think of them as volunteers, I think of them as good friends. I think all their activities were interesting. If I could write a whole list of good things about them, my hand will fall off. They are wonderful. They are all great role models.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the programs I participate in.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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