There is a tremendous need for urban youth to have after-school employment that teaches critical academic and life skills in an environment that encourages and values their input. The True Star Foundation provides services which eliminate the prime time hours for delinquent behavior.

Teens that spend no time in extracurricular activities and are unsupervised during after-school hours are:

  • Far more likely to use alcohol and tobacco

  • 49 percent more likely to have tried other drugs

  • More likely to engage in criminal and other high-risk behaviors

  • 37 percent more likely to become teen parents

  • More likely to receive poor grades and drop out of school

Source: U.S. Dept. of Education and Justice, 1998

Source: PPI Report, 2004

Our focus

Mentoring gives teens an opportunity to create one-on-one relationships with industry professionals and their networks. The teens receive coaching and guidance from the instructors who lead the programs that goes beyond just telling them what success looks like but by showing them through the real life experience of creating and producing work for a publishing company. The instructor/student relationship tends to have a positive affect on grades, moods and the tendency to take risks.

Professional Development and Job Readiness teaches teens essential job and life skills. Students are taught about the standard tools and equipment of different professions, the importance of creating and meeting deadlines, and effective forms of business communication. In addition to teens receiving specific skills through the publicationís departments, they also participate in resume writing and interviewing workshops.

Arts, Culture and Media give teens a voice in an arena where they are typically taught to be silent. Our students who are socially, economically and ethnically diverse are able to express themselves and face the challenges of the world around them through written and visual art.

Entrepreneurship affords teens the opportunity to develop inspiration for businesses in the future. And being part of a youth operated publishing company that values studentsí feedback, implements their ideas and lets them see themselves in leadership roles gives teens hope, dreams and independence. In many cases students get an opportunity to work with the founders of the organization and learn the day-to-day duties of running and growing a business.

We do more than offer a safe haven after school: we engage teens in every aspect of the business. We give our student staffers the training required to perform in todayís competitive job market, an opportunity to learn new skills, improve grades, develop mentorships with caring adults, and prepare for higher education and successful career paths.


Donate: Help provide quality youth programming, and putting teens to work in jobs that give real world experience and build on skills learned in the classroom.

Sponsor a Program or Event: From fashion shows to career seminars True Star hosts a variety of events to entertain and educate Chicagoland teens, giving sponsors a perfect opportunity to reach over 200,000 urban youth with their brand and message. Contact us at to create a customized sponsorship package for your business or group at our next event.

Are you looking for quality programming to offer teens in your community? If so we would like to expand our program in your area. Contact us at to discuss integrating the True Star curriculum into your school or organization. Select a Wish List Donation: As our programs grow and develop so does our need for skilled people and resources, below is a list of needs to help our office continue running in top-notch condition. Contact us at 312.588.0100 or if you would like to make Wish List donation.

  • Computer hardware and software

  • Photo Studio Space for Fashion Shoots

  • Free time from Make up Artists and Hair Stylists

  • Event Space

  • Paid Internships for graduating True Star apprentices

  • Scholarships for graduating True Star apprentices

  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus cards for students

  • Office supplies


True Star Magazine is
looking for teens like you:

Graphic Designers
Learn More about open positions at True Star Magazine

Copyright © 2009 True Star Foundation. All rights reserved.