At UCAN, we are committed to achieving our vision that youth who suffer trauma can become our future leaders. We continue forward in this work in the face of these unprecedented times. For many of our youth, their lives prior to COVID-19 were marred by trauma and the circumstances that often followed. As we navigate these uncertain times, our youth still face the issues that brought them to UCAN along with the stress that the pandemic has created. Our dedicated employees, while ensuring their personal safety, are working remotely through distance learning, conference calls and virtual connections to provide needed services and resources to our youth and families, and to remain in touch with each other. Through it all, UCAN has and will continue to focus on living out our mission to build strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment.
Youth involved in the UCAN Voices program utilize spoken word and music as a means of self-expression, healing from trauma and community identification. Staff facilitating sessions will work with the youth on identifying the story they want to express themselves with spoken word or song. Musical instruments and computer programming are utilized to enhance their experiences, as needed. Our goal is to provide a safe space and tools to allow youth to tell their stories for personal healing and growth so that youth will identify a stronger sense of who they are and display improvement in the integration of social emotional well-being.
UCAN Academy, comprised of two campuses across Chicago, is an innovative 1st through 12th grade, year-round therapeutic day school. A special education curriculum is used by experienced staff to help students who have experienced difficulties in previous school settings and who benefit from a smaller, more individualized classroom environment. As the largest and one of the most recognized therapeutic day schools in the area, each child enrolled in UCAN Academy comes to us with a unique set of needs. We help them to see schooling in a positive light and to reach their highest potential. During the pandemic, UCAN worked to ensure had access to reliable, up-to-date tablets that can be used for both in-class learning and remote learning required as part of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates.