About CYSD

CYSD Peace Rally Crowd shot2 cropped

Chicago Youth Service Day (CYSD) is an exciting opportunity for young people across the city to join together for a day of service and non-violent action. In the morning, youth take action through interactive projects that address local and global issues. From beautifying community spaces and restoring natural habitats, to serving seniors and building inter-generational relationships, to raising awareness about world hunger and local gang violence. Projects are youth-driven and supported through collaborations with community organizations and adult mentors. In the afternoon, hundreds of youth and families gather together for a citywide CYSD Rally that celebrates a collective commitment to service and peace in Chicago with fun games, art activities and live entertainment.  This year, CYSD will take place on Saturday, April 25th, 2015.

Service in the morning: Youth groups take control, planning their own morning service projects. Length of time, location and project type are completely up to your group!

CYSD Rally in the afternoon: Participating youth groups are encouraged to stop by the CYSD Rally after finishing their service project. Join us for music, live art & entertainment, games and a call for peace in our city.

Logistics about the CYSD Rally will be provided to registered groups.


Chicago Youth Service Day (CYSD) is a day for youth groups of all kinds to role up their sleeves and take action. CYSD is open to youth groups, ages 7 –  24


It’s really easy to get involved in Chicago Youth Service Day!

1. Plan a Project for CYSD

Most projects take place during the morning of CYSD, so that youth groups have the option of attending the afternoon CYSD Rally

2. Register Your Project

Let us know how you’re taking action for CYSD

3. Join Us at the CYSD Rally!

Register your project to receive details about the CYSD Rally

4. Promote Your Project, and CYSD, on Social Media

Like us on FB, and use the hashtag #CYSD2014

Recap: CYSD 2013

The 4th annual Chicago Youth Service Day (CYSD) took place on May 4. Over 2,000 students of all ages gathered for the occasion focused on service and peace. CYSD remains one of the nation’s largest-scale service in peace initiatives founded on the premise that service can help heal some of the damage brought on by violence throughout Chicago communities.

Students took part in interactive service projects across the city with seniors, children, and peers beautifying urban landscapes collaborating with community organizations, and raising awareness for issues they care about. Students participated in an advocacy walk to raise awareness about global malnutrition in the Chicago Race Against Hunger, co-hosted by Action Against Hunger and After-School All-Stars Chicago.

After spending the morning executing direct service, students gathered in the afternoon on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology for a culminating celebration and peace rally emceed by FM Supreme, an international performing hip-hop artist. The day included fun and engaging activities for youth and families, service awards, live entertainment, and a call to peaceful, non-violent action in Chicago.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle addressed the crowd as the keynote speaker, offering a message of hope and solidarity to the youth present that they have the power to affect positive change.

The announcement of the CYSD Service Awards in conjunction with the national Jefferson Awards for Public Service Youth Service Challenge was delivered by Elizabeth Wackerlin, as follows: Best Project by an Elementary or a Middle School to Andrew Jackson Language Academy for their “Chris Jensik Kindergarden” memorial garden project in memory of a deceased teacher; Best Project by a High School to John F. Kennedy High School for their “Kennedy Crusade” project comprehensively beautifying their school community; and Best Project by a Community Organization to Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Moms Demand Action and Chicago’s Citizens for Change for their “Take Action for a Plan for Sensible Gun Laws” calling to action issues surrounding peace and justice.

To find out more about Chicago Youth Service Day and how you can help students make a difference in Chicago, contact the CYSD team.

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2 thoughts on “About CYSD

  1. Pingback: Weekly Update from Your Alderman – April 12, 2013 | 48th Ward Service Website

  2. Pingback: Weekly Update from Your Alderman – April 19, 2013 | 48th Ward Service Website

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