Bethel New Life & BLUE1647 Announce West Side Chicago Community Transformation Initiative Bethel Hosts Out-of-School Time Education Consortium
Bethel Campus Gets a New Look with New Signage Bethel Launches Family College Program

Bethel New Life & BLUE1647 Announce West Side Chicago Community Transformation Initiative

Bethel New Life and BLUE1647 announced a new partnership that will combine the insights and resources of both organizations to create programs and initiatives designed to increase access to education, training, and job opportunities for West Side residents in the industry sectors of Information Technology (IT) and Advanced Manufacturing. Career opportunities in IT and Advanced Manufacturing are rapidly expanding and intersecting as the two fields become more integrated through new advancements in cloud and mobile computing, robotics, automated processing, 3D printing, and precision/laser-guided production techniques. The West Side of Chicago has both a rich history in manufacturing and more than 200 currently operating manufacturing facilities where there is increasing demand for qualified workers in these areas. However, due to many systemic limitations in education, training, and exposure; many West Side residents miss out on these job opportunities which allows the current cycle of poverty to continue to perpetuate in the community today.

Participants at a BLUE1647 event.

Through this new partnership, BLUE1647 and Bethel New Life will work together to address this challenge by focusing on two major goals:

Collaborating and framing a strategy on how this industry revolution in IT and Advanced Manufacturing can be used to create or bring more jobs to the West Side that local residents are qualified to fill.

Activating programs that will provide the awareness, job training, certifications, and technical resources needed to place qualified West Side residents in these jobs; as well as supporting new/entrepreneurial businesses in launching West Side companies that can employ local residents.

For more information on the partnership, Click here.

Bethel Campus

Gets a New Look

with New Signage

We are excited to debut a new look around our campus! We recently completed installation of a series of new signs on and around our facility. These new signs are designed to provide better directions and branding to identify our various buildings and facilities. Take a look at some of our new signs below!

Division St. and Lavergne Ave.

Lamon Ave. guest parking lot entrance.

Bethel Hosts Out-of School Time Education Consortium

On April 17, Bethel New Life hosted its 2015 Out-of-School Time Education Symposium. The event attracted more than 50 people, primarily from various community and education organizations across the city, who came out to hear speakers on a broad range of topics relating to after school programs and care.

During the day, attendees took part in a series of discussions and presentations. A major theme throughout the event was on providing quality Out-of-School Time programs that engage youth while allowing them to develop meaningful skills that can help to reverse the cycle of poverty that is so pervasive on Chicago's West Side. This fits directly into Bethel's larger West Side Forward initiative, which aims to bring an end to decades of concentrated poverty in these communities through strategic and cooperative community transformation investments.

Pamela Randall-Garner of CASEL giving a presentation.


"For us, the goal of this event is to help after school providers improve their practice by bringing in free training. The groups that we have here today impact around 5,000 children in this community and if they can do a little better job every year doing that, then those kids are going to do better academically and behaviorally," said Bethel's President and CEO, Dr. Lori Vallelunga.

Bethel Launches Family College Program

Bethel recently launched a new program called Family College. Family College is a two-generation program designed to address generational poverty. The program provides children with early education intervention vital to academic success. In addition, parents receive support to facilitate the economic mobility essential for the family to escape poverty. Participants will also enhance their social capital through intentional social network building, leadership development, family social interaction enhancement, problem-solving and other personal development activities.

One of the first activities included in Family College is a four month virtual road trip where participants will be exposed to different cultural experiences in various U.S. states through engaging and interactive activities designed to strengthen the family bond.


The program will continue on from there as part of a $750,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to evaluate the impact of two-generational strategies in moving people out of poverty.

For more information on Family College, click here.

ETP Matching Donations

Are you interested in Donating to the Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP)? Bethel New Life has a tremendous opportunity to have up to $50,000 in donations to the ETP matched by one of our generous donors. Help us reach this number and raise $100,000 to support emerging entrepreneurs on Chicago's West Side.