Programs and Activities

In order to fulfill its mission, the IDeaL Education Foundation focuses its efforts around a number of youth mentoring activities, including those described below:

  • Project Alpha: Project Alpha is a national program developed by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation to provide young men with information and skills surrounding issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. The IDeaL Education Foundation provides annual financial and volunteer support for a citywide Project Alpha workshop every Fall, and expands on this workshop by hosting its own Project Alpha Weekend Retreat for 15-20 young men. During this retreat, the Foundation works in conjunction with youth workers from local non-profit organizations and schools to implement the Project Alpha Curriculum, as well as provide male role models for participating youth.
  • Leadership Development Institute (LDI): The Leadership Development Institute seeks to equip high school students with vital leadership skills. Volunteer adult facilitators, working along with other professionals/experts, instruct the participants in parliamentary procedures, conflict resolution, models of leadership, public speaking, community and civic engagement, and educational enhancement skills. The IDeaL Education Foundation annually sponsors seven young men to participate in the LDI program, and provides a direct mentoring relationship between participating youth and members of the Foundation’s board of trustees.
  • A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People: The IDeaL Education Foundation implements A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People as an annual voter education workshop for youth and adults focused on the history of voting, voter registration, the voting process and the U.S. government, and political participation.
  • Go-To-High School, Go-To-College: Through the Go-to-High School, Go-to-College program, the IDeaL Education Foundation implements an annual forum for Chicago-area youth, with workshops focused on high school completion, the pursuit of college education and other forms of professional training after high school graduation, and strategies that facilitate personal and professional success.
  • Oratorical Contest: The IDeaL Education Foundation hosts its annual Oratorical Contest to promote the continued development of public speaking and writing skills among young men and women. Working closely with partnering schools, the Foundation facilitates pre-Contest workshops for local junior high and high school students to build interest and develop skills. Participating students then advance to compete against peers in the final Contest, in which the Foundation awards cash and other prizes for top student performers.
  • Boy Scouts of America: The IDeaL Education Foundation sponsors Cub Scouts Pack #350 and Boy Scouts Troop #350, both located in Dolton, Illinois, and provides over 1000 volunteer hours and financial support for related scouting activities.