The funds will support expansion of the school-based group-counseling program to more than four thousand male Chicago Public Schools students — a 30 percent increase over the number of students served last year. With a focus on six core values — integrity, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression, respect for women, and visionary goal setting — the program works to help young men use social cognitive skills, such as slowing down their thinking, considering the perspective of others, and identifying and evaluating consequences, before acting.
A 2016 study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab found that participation in BAM reduced violent crime arrests by up to 50 percent, reduced total arrests by 35 percent, and increased on-time high school graduation rates by 19 percent for male students in Chicago Public Schools.
"Exelon has been a strong supporter of Youth Guidance's mission to help youth overcome obstacles for many years, and through Exelon's generous leadership gift to expand our BAM program across Chicago, over four thousand Chicago youth will have a caring, skilled BAM counselor guiding and supporting them for each of the next three years," said Youth Guidance CEO Michelle Adler Morrison. "The impact of Exelon's support for the youth we serve and their communities will reverberate across Chicago."