Mentoring and Counseling Interventions

Exposure to gun violence traumatizes children – and this trauma follows them into the classroom. We partner with community-based organizations to identify and evaluate trauma-informed interventions, including mentorship and counseling programs, that surface and strengthen skills in students that help them navigate difficult situations and succeed in school.

While gun violence may affect boys more directly as participants, our research suggests as high as 38% of school-aged girls in Chicago public high schools exhibit signs of PTSD — double the probability of PTSD in service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan- as a result of high rates of trauma exposure, including gun violence.

22%

Youth Guidance’s Working on Womanhood (WOW) program, a group-based peer mentoring program serving school aged girls in Chicago neighborhood schools, reduces PTSD symptoms by 22% in addition to reducing anxiety and depression.

50%

Our evaluation of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM), a school-based group counseling program for young men in 7th-12th grades, found that BAM participants experienced 50% fewer arrests for violent crimes.

Related Projects
Back to Our Future (B2OF)
CURRENT

Back to Our Future (B2OF)

Back to Our Future (B2OF) is a state-funded, district-led, evidence-informed effort to re-engage disconnected students at an elevated risk for gun violence involvement.

Protected: Post-Secondary Champions

Protected: Post-Secondary Champions

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Communities in Schools (CIS)

Communities in Schools (CIS)

The Education Lab partnered with Communities in Schools to evaluate an intervention program of academic and socio-emotional learning supports for students at risk of dropping out of school.

Chicago Student Success Initiative (CSSI)

Chicago Student Success Initiative (CSSI)

The Education Lab partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to develop new interventions for schools disproportionately serving students at the highest risk of school dropout or violence involvement.

Related Resources
Scaling Promising Practices in Youth Mentoring
Case study

Scaling Promising Practices in Youth Mentoring

Oct 2023

This case study by Results for America highlights the Crime Lab and Education Lab’s role in the City of Chicago’s bold initiative to expand the evidence-based Becoming a Man group mentoring model to serve thousands of young men.

Randomized evaluation of a school-based, trauma-informed group intervention for young women in Chicago
Academic Paper

Randomized evaluation of a school-based, trauma-informed group intervention for young women in Chicago

Jun 2023

Science Advances journal publication.

Working on Womanhood- Research Brief
Research Brief

Working on Womanhood- Research Brief

Jun 2023

Research brief for the Working on Womanhood project.

Seizing the Opportunity to Advance Education Equity
Report

Seizing the Opportunity to Advance Education Equity

Jun 2021

2021 Education Lab report on barriers to education faced by CPS students.

Latest Updates

The Economic Ripple of Learning Loss and its Impact on Chicago’s Future
Event
City Club of Chicago
Feb 2024

The Economic Ripple of Learning Loss and its Impact on Chicago’s Future

In this City Club of Chicago event, Education Lab Faculty Co-Director Jens Ludwig participated in a panel discussion on the importance of addressing the learning loss crisis to ensure Chicago’s students thrive.

Jens Ludwig: Pandemic learning loss is Chicago’s next big crisis
Op-Ed
The Chicago Tribune
Feb 2024

Jens Ludwig: Pandemic learning loss is Chicago’s next big crisis

Education Lab faculty co-director Dr. Jens Ludwig provides commentary on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ learning and a known solution for accelerating learning for Chicago students.

Working on Womanhood: Reducing PTSD among teen girls
Event
Harvard Public Health
Feb 2024

Working on Womanhood: Reducing PTSD among teen girls

Education Lab Senior Research Director Dr. Monica Bhatt joined a discussion moderated by Harvard Public Health with Youth Guidance and a Working on Womanhood (WOW) alum to share about the impact of the program on young girls’ mental health.