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Love, Unity & Values Institute

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Chicago, IL


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Our Story

The Love, Unity & Values (LUV) Institute stands on the mission to provide hope, skills and opportunity to at-risk and economically challenged young people to disrupt violence and other negative social behavior, while preparing them for academic success and sustainable employment.

According to a 2012 study by the McKinsey Global Institute, it is predicted that by 2020 up to 90 million low-skilled workers or 2.6% of the national workforce --75 million of which will be between the ages of 21 and 24 -- will become permanently jobless, unable to meet employer demand for medium and high-skilled workers. This study indicates that by the time elementary, middle and high school students reach adulthood they will be at the highest possibility of falling into this transition gap. Seeing the emerging trend in 2010, The LUV Institute began identifying a population of disadvantaged young people who were unprepared to meet the demand and commenced creating programs to help them.

The LUV Institute’s work includes pre-teens, adolescents and young adults ages 11-24 who have experienced life in foster care or state-funded group homes, have been involved in the juvenile justice system and youth who exhibit behavioral and anger management dysfunction that potentially jeopardizes personal, business and employer relationships.

Through its after-school, job readiness, career and vocational programs, The LUV Institute helps students make the connection between high school completion, secondary school and vocational training to access their own economic self-sufficiency in a rapidly changing and competitive workforce. Recognizing the absence of self-discipline as a significant barrier to job retention, The LUV Institute distinguishes itself by focusing on social and emotional competence in all of its programs.

The LUV Institute meets its participants where they are in their emotional and social development through one of five programs: the Journey to My Better Self After-School Empowerment Program, the Journey to My Better Self Media Empowerment Program, the Journey to My Better Self Career Academy, the Journey to My Better Self Entrepreneurship Program, and the Journey to My Better Self College Empowerment Program.

As an extension of the innovative practices used in its youth programs, The LUV Institute has a series of Professional Development Programs, which support human resource professionals, educators, social workers and more interested in improving cooperation and productivity in the workplace, classroom and community. 

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