Communityworks

Communityworks Programs


SAY

Success of All Youth

The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation's Success of All Youth is a community collective in partnership with all who provide care and services to children from cradle to career.

The Success of All Youth’s (SAY) mission is to align priorities, efforts and resources across the community to empower all youth to be successful. Toward the Success of All Youth, Communityworks has also provided financial support to:

  • Collaboration for Early Childhood to sponsor a presentation in Oak Park by James Heckman on the economic impact of early childhood development
  • Hephzibah for youth supplies
  • I.M.P.A.C.T. for technical support
  • Oak Park District 97 International Baccalaureate Program Implementation
  • Oak Park River Forest Day Nursery in support of their Centennial Campaign
  • River Forest District 90 for the Second Step Program
  • Sarah's Inn for their Step Back Program, Teen Advisory Program, Cyber Safety and Victimization Programs
  • Thrive in support of the Alternative to Suspension Program
  • West Cook YMCA for the Youth International Leadership Development Program

Leadership Lab

Build Leadership Skills.
Grow Your Network. Lead Our Community.

Leadership Lab, a program of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, brings together committed citizens and emerging and current leaders, to build and practice transferable, valuable leadership skills, and to explore and assess the strengths and opportunities in our community, in a unique, hands-on curriculum. Learn the state of our community now, who is doing what, what the emerging issues of our time are, and how you can be engaged to address them.  Together, we will gain valuable insights into how our community works and will create stronger, more engaged leaders in a thriving and vibrant community.

Mentor-guided community panels, comprised of experts and leaders from local businesses, nonprofits, and village government, will offer their unique perspective on the current successes and challenges we face as a community.  Professional moderators and speakers will challenge participants to identify and refine the priorities heard throughout the day, and to discover and envision solutions. The Course Mentor will guide participants through this learning process, will inspire participants to THINK BIG about their effect in our community, and will help participants develop a personal plan for making a difference.

As an important experiential learning tool of the program, participants will work in small groups “in-the-field,” such as community tours and volunteer work, and will collaborate on group presentations. Small group work aims to broaden and deepen the leadership experience, utilizing skills such as visioning, motivational and collaborative skills, public speaking, goal setting, and innovative problem solving. Presentations will demonstrate the participants’ understanding of a community issue, with well-formulated ideas on how to tackle the problem. Final presentations will be presented at graduation to a public audience.


learn more

Learn more about Leadership Lab
and how to apply.

PIG final

Environmental Sustainability

Communityworks gave rise to the creation and implementation of an environmental sustainability plan for Oak Park and River Forest. Communityworks commissioned PlanItGreen, and funded Seven Generations Ahead to do this work. PlanItGreen engages local and regional organizations and the communities of Oak Park and River Forest in developing and implementing a 10-year environmental sustainability plan.  Communityworks resources toward environmental sustainability have also supported:

  • Green Community Connections for the Energy, waste and water campaign for Oak Park and River Forest as well as for the Resilient Community & Youth Sustainability Leadership Program
  • Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest for the “New Home for History” capital campaign
  • Oak Park Development Corporation for its Green Business Project and for OPDC’s “Cooperative Marketing Campaign” to promote businesses that participated in the Communityworks funded “Growing Green: Green Business Program”
  • Oak Park District 97 Irving’s “School Yard” project
  • River Forest Parks Foundation for the Natural Lawn Care Residential Campaign
  • Triton College BizzItGreen - Business Green Certification program
  • Village of Oak Park providing rebates and incentives for the Residential Energy and Efficiency Program and Residential Water Efficiency Program, offering rebates to single family or condominium homeowners for low flow and distribute additional shower head/aerator kits.
  • West Cook Wild Ones for the establishment of a wildlife corridor of native gardens, plants and insects connecting Columbus Park to Thatcher Woods.

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