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YOUmedia Celebrates 10 Years of Impact with Block Party

Written by on September 24, 2019


Chicago Public Library is celebrating 10 years of creative teen expression!

YOUmedia, an innovative digital learning and mentorship programs for teens, will commemorate its milestone 10-year anniversary with a Teen Block Party. The Teen Block Party will take place Saturday, September 28 from 1-7 p.m. outside of Harold Washington Library Center on Plymouth Court.

YOUmedia encourages teens to hang out, mess around, and geek out. By investing in Chicago’s youth by empowering teens to create and collaborate through a unique connected learning model, their mission is shared beyond Chicago and is replicated across the nation.

Jennifer Steele joined Jill Hopkins on The Morning AMp to chat about YOUmedia’s 10 years of accomplishments and the upcoming event.


Jill Hopkins: Talk to me about the work that YOUmedia does all year round for the past 10 years. 

Jennifer Steele: YOUmedia is a space where teens can come meet each other, hang out, and most importantly, they’re able to have access to different types of technology experiences and mentors as well. We serve teens that are interested in anything from video making and 3D printing to stem and raising fish in tanks.

JH: I would have loved that when I was a teenager! You’ve been around for 10 years now, which gives alumni from the olden days the chance to make their way through the world. Who are some folks that have called YOUmedia home? 

JS: We’ve had some amazing moments, it’s kind of mind blowing. We’ve had some amazing alumni who are out in the world doing incredible work. Everyone knows Chance The Rapper, Noname, or John Doe, as well as some amazing poets like Jalen Kobayashi and Dominic James, who are all YOUmedia alum. We’re really proud of all the work that all of our alumni are doing across the world, we love you all! Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey. 

JH: 10 years is a long time to be doing anything. How has the library supported YOUmedia and the work that you do?

JS: We are busy all of the time. There are so many programs and things going on at Chicago Public Library, but I think we wouldn’t have been able to do this work without all of the support from the Chicago Public Library Foundation, as well as so many other funders who have supported our programs like The Chicago Learning Exchange, The Chicago Community Trust, and The MacArthur Foundation, especially. 

JH: Let’s talk about the party! We’ve got to soak up these last few weeks of great weather, and I think it’s going to be real nice outside for this event. So talk to me about what folks can expect when they get to Harald Washington.

JS: There’s going to be music, we’re going to have performances by alum, as well as teens who are currently creating in our spaces. So there’ll be a lot of young people you should come out and check out, because you will probably be attending their concerts in the future! A lot of our partners will be on site doing a lot of different activities, there’s going to be a Smash Brothers tournament inside the library. We’re also going to be hosting tours for anyone who’s interested in checking out YOUmedia and learning more about what we do. There’s going to be food, there’s going to be a digital photo booth, so you can make sure you commemorate the moment with a photo. It’s mostly going to be a full day representing all the types of work that we do. It’s family friendly, bring all the kids!

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More info about the event can be found here

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