Project: VISION’s mission is to help youth of Chicago’s Chinatown, Bridgeport, and surrounding communities achieve their full potentials by providing them with tools for educational, personal, and civic development.

Ashley X.

“Going from one country to another was a memory I had once lost. I was only two years old when I immigrated to the United States with my parents. For the first two years of my life, I lived in China with my aunt so that my parents could find jobs in America before they brought me to the new country. Throughout my early childhood, Cantonese was the only language that I learned. My parents were not fluent in English, so I struggled to learn it as well. When other kids were starting to learn to count in English, I was learning how to count in Cantonese. When other kids were starting to learn how to speak full sentences in English, I was learning how to speak full sentences in Cantonese. As I got older, I continued to struggle with exercises that my peers thought were simple. I was often bullied for being illiterate and not being able to understand simple things other students could, so I got the label of ‘the dumb Asian girl‘ . . .” 

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Eric C.

“I have been a part of Project: VISION youth programs since the 8th grade and joined initially for a safe place to go after school and for homework help, although I had always been a hard-working student and mainly just needed an extra push from time to time. However, high school became more challenging, and I relied on tutoring more heavily to keep my grades up. I also benefited from the the college prep programs, especially the test prep classes, essay writing workshops for applications and help with filling out the FAFSA for financial aid . . . ” 

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Eric’s story really captures the goals of PV’s work because we have been able to help him improve his academic skills, ensuring that he navigates high school successfully and is well-prepared for college, but even more importantly, our programs have instilled the importance of community, broadened his worldview, and helped him gain soft skills that will prepare him for the workplace and as a future community leader.

Dan Ping R.

“I was born in China and came here at the age of three. I struggled with learning English growing up, and I wasn’t a straight A student. When I started Project: VISION, I had horrible grades to the point where I was embarrassed to show them to people. In sixth grade, I enrolled in Project: VISION’s programs, and I have come a long way since then . . .”

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Judy E.

“As a child of immigrant parents, who work long hours and struggle with the language barrier, I was often not able to find the guidance and learning opportunities I needed. I joined Project: VISION during my sophomore year in hopes that PV’s High School Scholars Program could help fill in some of these gaps and help me reach my goals. I benefited from PV’s academic support programs such as tutoring, test prep, and I also received help with my college applications. But the programs that really made a difference for me were . . . “

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Judy’s story highlights the unique challenges that many of PV’s students face as children of immigrants while working toward becoming first generation college students. Our staff and programs aim to fill in gaps where parents sometimes are unable to provide the guidance and support youth need to succeed.

Sheen Hun C.

“Loneliness was my only friend for a very long time. It kept me company and I embraced it because it was familiar and comfortable. Growing out of my shell took a lot of personal reflection to start, but what really motivated me to change, I feel, was my experience with Project: VISION. It was this experience that had one of the greatest influences on the way I think. I am grateful for PV, its services and opportunities, and its tutors especially, for how it has shaped my life . . .”

Read more of Sheen Hun’s story . . .

Sheen Hun’s story illustrates the importance of the personal growth aspects of youth development. For Sheen Hun, mentorship was critical to helping him develop confidence and build on his strengths and interests.