The Crusader Newspaper Group

Bright Star Community Outreach receives $674K grant

Bright Star Community Outreach (BSCO) has been awarded a grant for $674,166 from The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. With this new funding Bright Star Community Outreach will launch two new violence prevention programs and increase capacity of a current program, providing additional services in Chicago’s Bronzeville community, and expanding its local impact to hundreds of high-risk youth and their families.

“This is great news for BSCO and Bronzeville. This new opportunity to further serve Bronzeville speaks to the strength of everything BSCO’s TURN Model represents: the building and strengthening of youth, families and communities as a whole. We have heard from the community and now we have more resources to respond to their voice,” said Rodney Carter, Chief Operating Officer of BSCO.

These new and expanded programs come out of a community action planning process led by Bright Star Community Outreach in collaboration with the Chicago Center on Youth Violence Prevention to identify needed services within the Bronzeville community. Bright Star will provide additional case management services through its current Truancy Education and Mentoring (TEAM) program, which serves youth aged 13 to 18. TEAM provides a safe, productive environment so chronically truant youth can receive mentoring, tutoring, and academic coaching. Counseling will also be provided to high-risk and justice-involved youth.

Bright Star will introduce a new violence prevention program, the GREAT Families program, aimed at middle school youth and their families. The program, which has proven to decrease violence and has made a positive impact on participating youth and families, has also improved the behavior of other students in the same grade.

Another new program, Multisystemic Therapy (MST) provides services, delivered by therapists, to youth aged 12 to 17 and their families aimed at restructuring the home, school, and community environments. Findings from randomized controlled trials show that MST reduces short- and long-term criminal behaviors.

Deborah Gorman-Smith, director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention and Interim Dean at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, said “This new funding will advance evidence-based programs that respond to the needs described in the Bronzeville community action plan led by Bright Star Community Outreach, and completed in partnership with schools and organizations within the greater Bronzeville community. Decades of research has shown that supporting families is key to violence prevention and these programs address that critical need.”

Bright Star Community Outreach (BSCO) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that offers evidence-based programming, social development and advocacy on Chicago’s south side. BSCO’s mission is to empower residents to share in the responsibility of building community through resource development and collaborative partnerships. Over the course of nine years, Bright Star has made significant contributions throughout the 3rd and 4th wards.

For more information about Bright Star Community Outreach visit


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