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Civic Weekend

Meaningful Service for a Meaningful Life

The Civic Education Project (CEP) in partnership with Northwestern University offers a unique opportunity to participate in an award-winning leadership and citizenship program.  


CEP combines traditional education and community service to promote civic responsibility among promising young people. It is designed to introduce students to contemporary social issues facing urban communities, and to promote civic engagement and leadership. Each group will spend a significant part of the weekend engaged in hands-on service with dynamic nonprofit organizations throughout the city of Chicago.


Under direct supervision of trained staff from the Civic Education Project, students will spend two days engaged in meaningful service work and meetings with community leaders. Those projects and experiences will be integrated with lessons and reflection activities facilitated by each staff team, as well as group-building, relaxation, and fun.


would be interested in participating in another similar program.

87.5% of students would recommend this to their friends.

Due to the Pandemic, the weekend was not held during the 2021-22and 22-23 school years.

What was the most important thing you learned or gained from your participation in the program? (2019 participants)

  • "Everyone can help in some way." 

  • "I just want to help more people in the future. It feels good to know that I can help people and make them happy. I feel good about myself when I give back to the community." 

  • "I learned that service can change not just the other person's life, but yours as well." 

  • "Not all people have it as good as others, and little things can make a big difference."

  • "One thing I learned about myself was even though I am a kid, I can still show leadership and make a difference."

  • "Leadership is a lot more than a 'follow me' situation. It is a promise to help others get where they want to go."

  • "I learned that I'm capable of a whole lot more than I first thought I was. I can make a change in any problem I set my mind to."

  • "One thing I learned about communities, social issues, leadership, and/or service is that it's kind of like a food chain; they all are connected and rely on each other."

  • "I learned that I could make a change, and I could be the change that I want to see in the world." 

  • "I learned so much from this program, but I think the most important was getting to see other communities and how they live." 

This was a very powerful, eye-opening experience. It teaches you life skills about making the world a better place, and that is more important than anything.”– WSCAE CivicAction Participant

"I want to volunteer more and find ways to help others after this experience.  I also aim to be a more empathetic and compassionate person after doing these activities" -participant, 2017

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