What We Do

BUILD is a nationally respected gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development organization based on Chicago’s West Side.

Since 1969, BUILD has helped thousands of at-risk youth escape gangs and violence to become positive leaders of their communities.

We mentor young people who face the steepest obstacles, reaching 3500 youth a year in Austin, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Logan Square, and Fuller Park.

Our Apprentice Mentor Program (AMP) will train a cohort of BUILD youth to become our next generation of mentors – creating a pipeline of powerful boys and young men of color who make a difference today, while reaching back to support the leaders of tomorrow.

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Growing Hope: Prevention

BUILD helps young people beat the odds by offering positive, empowering in-school, after-school and out-of-school programs, including BUILD’s new Arts Academy, fine arts and jewelry-making workshops, academic tutoring, health education, athletic leagues and poetry and public speaking activities.

Saving Lives: Intervention

BUILD is committed to serving Chicago’s youth who are facing the greatest risks. By offering both individualized as well as community-based programming, BUILD opens doors for youth who many have given up on, empowering them to take charge of their lives, futures, and communities. BUILD’s Peace Leagues bring together ex-gang members, police, and neighborhood kids to create positive alternatives to street life and to build essential bonds that last a lifetime. Intensive mentoring provides troubled youth with the support and opportunities needed to develop goals and hold themselves accountable.

The Youth Leadership Council, Restorative Justice Initiative, and Inward Healing Camping Trips are just some of the ways BUILD ensures that court- and gang-involved youth invest in their futures.

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"It's not one thing. Every day at BUILD has a moment that changes my life." - BUILD Youth

BUILDing Futures

BUILD helps inspire youth to look beyond the barriers in their lives and re-imagine a future filled with opportunity and achievement. Our BUILDing Futures Program exposes low-income, often-overlooked students to the possibility of becoming the first in their families to go to college, graduate and create careers, connecting them to resources they need to achieve their aspirations.


Enrichment Services

Holistic, Integrated Services for Every Child Across the Board 

A holistic model, an experienced and caring team, and a deep network of partners enable BUILD to be a beacon of hope and a change agent for young people.

We take whatever action is needed to meet pressing needs and support youth in navigating toward success.

From case management and clinical support, to advocacy and mentoring, to arts and music, BUILD’s people, programs and pathways make a lasting difference for thousands of Chicago youth every year.

Where do we work - UPDATE2

Community Engagement

Supporting youth to become the next generation of leaders in their communities.


Clinical & Community Wellness

Our trauma-informed outreach, crisis support, case management and mental health care directly to the community. When working with youth, it's not enough simply to find and protect them, or to offer them support and services, we need to be a one-stop shop through program integration.

Increasing Access To Healthcare

Do you still need health coverage or have questions about your existing coverage? Please email Maricarmen Magana at maricarmenmagana@buildchicago.org for help and make an appointment.