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Youth Scholars, Skills, Service (YS3)

The Alternative Schools Network of Chicago (ASN), in collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), has developed a program with 18 community-based alternative high schools to provide opportunities for youth who are out of school and do not have a high school diploma or GED. The Youth Scholars, Skills and Service Program (YS3) directory has been developed for professionals who work with 16-21 year old youth in the care of DCFS residing in such placements as traditional foster care, home of relative, independent living, or group home.

This program provides Chicago area youth who are in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), are not enrolled in an educational or vocational program and do not have a high school diploma or GED with the opportunity and resources to attain their educational goals and become independent and productive adults. Integral components of YS3 are student mentoring, college placement, and support.

Click here for a description and map of Chicago alternative high schools that participate in YS3!

Participating schools are members of the Alternative Schools Network, and each school has its own unique academic character. All of the schools offer the following features to YS3 students:

Year-round Academic Program

  • Individualized education program
  • GED preparation
  • Small class size
  • Computer based assisted instruction
  • High speed Internet access
  • College preparation

After School Enrichment Program

  • Life skills
  • After-school tutoring
  • College Preparation
  • Employment skills
  • Structured social and cultural activities

Full-time School-Based Mentor

  • Intensive retention and support program
  • Coordination with DCFS case worker/service providers
  • Graduation and transition services
  • Coordinated community-based resources

Student Savings and Scholarship Program

  • Stipend for after school participation
  • Scholarships for post secondary education

Project New Futures

  • Transitional support to YS3 graduates into employment, vocational training and/or college
  • Participants tracked for an average of three years by ASN staff
  • A collaboration between the Alternative Schools Network, the Department of Children and Family Services and a private funder.


View YS3 Schools in a full screen map