William Blair recently partnered with MAPSCorps, a non profit that works with youth in underserved communities to produce data about community assets that can be used to improve the human condition. To help grow the program, William Blair gave $200,000 to MAPSCorps for the 2018-2019 year. With the funding, MAPSCorps launched an alumni council and added the Hermosa neighborhood to its mapping region. Next year, it plans to add six new neighborhoods.
Over the summer months, MAPSCorps works with youth to collect data on businesses, organizations and people. Over 100 high school students walk the neighborhoods for four days a week, all summer, to collect data. The mapping process provides the youth with a sense of empowerment through facts and civic engagement to improve their neighborhoods instead of feeling helpless.
This past August, ten youth teams presented their summer data collection on community outreach, support programs, community healthcare, and health trends to community officials, civic leaders, educators, and William Blair staff members. The topics investigated included the effects of gentrification on youth service groups in Hyde Park, violence prevention in Brighton Park, and the barriers in receiving quality trauma care in South Side neighborhoods.