Helping Communities: Common Ground Foundation

This teen is meeting with his mentor. Mentors are trusted people who give advice. They want to help younger people succeed.

The artist, actor, and author Common started the Common Ground Foundation. A foundation is a group that does something to help others. Common wanted to help high school students. He knew they could have better lives if people cared about them. What does the Common Ground Foundation do?

Teens who are part of the program do projects in the community. For the four years of high school, they meet with mentors once a month. When the students are ready to go to college, the Foundation helps. They help teens find the right college. They also help their families find ways to pay for college.

The Foundation has a summer camp, too. Students can play sports, meet other students, and do projects in the arts. They take trips outside of Chicago.

Every year, the Foundation has a big meeting for all the teens in the program. At the meeting, teens learn about different jobs they could do. They learn how to be leaders. This helps them see the world beyond their own neighborhood.

Common believes that his foundation will give children “a sense of hope, self-esteem, and love that will better the world.”

What Do You Think? Why do you think Common wanted to start the Foundation? How does the Foundation help change lives of teens living in Chicago?

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