True impact means we value action over intention. Here’s a snapshot of the impact we’ve generated alongside our community and partners, driven by the youth who center our work.

What communities does Comer serve? Where can Comer’s impact be felt most?

Comer Education Campus is proud to anchor wellness, safety, and curiosity within Greater Grand Crossing and neighboring communities. Our schools, programs, services, and educational opportunities support an ecosystem of youth power felt by both neighborhood and city. We believe in holistic youth support, including the possibilities of virtual programming and services that demonstrate clear commitments to accessibility. Equity is a cornerstone of opportunity and central to how we measure our organizational success. We’re committed to serving as a model for place-based youth advancement.

What challenges does Comer Education Campus exist to address?

Comer Education Campus addresses challenges in education equity, health equity, and community investment. No matter where our youth live, how they identify, or what circumstances they experience, we believe every young person deserves the opportunity to pursue their curiosities fully. We provide the space and resources necessary to give every young person the opportunity to maximize their fullest potential.

Now, as we look towards the future, we are doubling down on our commitment to root out racism and overcome inequities in education, enrichment, health, and opportunity in our community.


We serve 2,000 youth annually from 72 chicago area schools


In the 2020 school year, 90% of youth members reported positive attitudes toward learning and academic success .


In 2020, over 500 youth were placed in summer and school year internships and jobs


Our alumni are earning college degrees at three times the rate of their peers nationally


Over 1,000 teens have completed our green teens program since its inception, exploring green careers, stem disciplines, and environmental science

As a first-generation college student, I am setting the standard for success for my younger brother and sister. I push myself because I have people looking up to me.

—Markese Malone, University of Wisconsin-Madison ‘22

This place is a sanctuary. This is a place where I can come and be myself.

—Miracle Burres, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign '24

Seeing what Comer is doing for the Greater Grand Crossing area is just so awe-inspiring, and it really makes me feel like that I can also add and contribute and help progress this community.

—Oluwaseyi Olaleye, Stanford University, '20; Comer Crops Hydroponics Leader; MHUB

I was asked recently what is the greatest lesson I gained from Comer and it is simple: to have audacious ambitions for the future.

—Topel A. Wright, Loyola University ‘09; Risk Management, CIBC BANK USA

The people at GCYC have been so impactful. Their guidance, encouragement and care have created an environment where we can grow and discover who we are.

—Emely Basora, Gary Comer Youth Center Member

Going to Comer gave them guidance, structure, and people to lean on. If my kids needed advisors or someone to talk to after school, they had that.

—Marvin Irby, Parent of Three Comer Alumnae

They always asked how I was doing and how my classes were going. It was like a voice in the back of my head saying, ‘You can do it, Jermaine. You can graduate. You’re doing a great job. Keep going!’

—Jermaine Walls, University of Miami, ‘17; Dental Assistant at Dentologie

My success means everything to my family. I work hard every day so one day I can give my community the resources Comer has offered me. I want to be an agent of change.

—Busayo Adebayo, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign '20; Data Analyst Fellow Medical Home Network

Togetherness is important to me because it helps communities thrive.

reflecting on the meaning of resilience and togetherness.

—Nina West, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ‘22

You have to know you are able to go out there and make change no matter how small it is. If you are able to impact just one person’s life, that can lead to many because it can become a chain reaction.

—Dashay Berry-Purnell, University of Dayton, '16; Operations Coordinator, Teach for America

My lifetime goal is being a leader who speaks up and changes policy to further justice. That would be one way that I can leave my mark.

—Arnesia Banks, Boston College ’16; Banks UX Consulting LLC

People that want to do better and promote good change give me hope. Those people are everywhere and they have aspirations too.

—DeShawn Armistead, Connecticut College, '16; Account Executive at 4Degrees

As long as I know that people still believe in me, I feel like I can have that energy and push to stay focused and work hard and try to be in the film industry.

—De’Andre Armstrong, University of San Francisco, '16; Freelance Videographer & Editor

Comer was my second home -- where I gained my first summer job, first internship, first scholarship, first mentor, and overall helped shape me as a man.

—Daniel Johnson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ‘19 ’22 (Masters), Account Manager at Google