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The “Urban Future Leaders of the World” (uFLOW) Program helps to address the challenges facing inner city urban communities by recruiting and inspiring adolescents from low income neighborhoods to solve problems in their own community. The goal is to develop youth into leaders who will create successful community service projects in the short term, and who will also create a significant impact in their community in the future.
More specifically, the program works as follows. High school students with a potential solution to an important problem in their community may apply to the program, and if accepted will be provided with support, expertise, and funding to aid in implementing his/her project. For example, a student who feels gang violence is a major problem in his/her community could propose starting a violence prevention program for middle school kids, or a student who realizes diabetes is a problem in his/her community could propose a glucose screening program. In addition, students will have mentors, and leadership activities will take place throughout the year to develop their leadership skills.
Incentives to aid in motivating and recruiting high school students will be the key to creating a successful program. For instance, participants accepted to the program may receive a new computer, tickets to a Chicago Bulls game, and a small monetary stipend.