McDonald’s Corporation developed the Program in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust to support local organizations dedicated to Opportunity Youth
(CHICAGO, Oct 6, 2022) – Chinese Mutual Aid Association has been awarded a $50,000 grant through the Chicago Community Impact Grants Program, developed by McDonald’s Corporation in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust (the Trust). The Chicago Community Impact Grants Program provides charitable funds totaling $3.5 million to local nonprofit organizations addressing some of the city’s most pressing needs for its Opportunity Youth – young people facing multiple barriers to employment and education. This investment will help Chinese Mutual Aid Association continue serving Chicago youth through its
Young Women Warriors (YWW) and Young Men Making Moves (YMMM) programs. YWW and YMMM help young men and women succeed academically and professionally via their mentors’ guidance throughout their high school and early college careers. These programs bring 12- to 22-year-old members of all races and ethnicities to meet with mentors who are successful leaders and role models in the community. Through workshops, activities, and retreats, a strong mentor/mentee community are created with many mentees having moved on to higher education, going to schools such as Yale and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Through the group mentoring program, the groups meet twice a month from September to June for workshops and activities that encompass topics ranging from higher education, career growth, financial literacy, public speaking, voting, female health, self-defense and safety, and self-confidence.
“McDonald’s generosity will enable CMAA not only to equip adolescent youth with a supportive network of mentors, but for the first time in our program history also provide mentees with one-on-one programmatic support as they transition to high school, college, and career. This means SAT/ACT tutoring for high school juniors, scholarship search and college application support for seniors, and internship stipends so mentees don’t have to sacrifice forging a future in their field of interest because they need to make money as a teenager today,” said Emma Macdonald, manager of CMAA’s Youth Department.
“We know that when we invest in our youth, we’re investing in our city and region’s future,” said Andrea Sáenz, President and CEO, of The Chicago Community Trust. “As the Chicago region’s community foundation, we are delighted to work alongside McDonald’s to positively impact the trajectory of our youth for years to come.”
In 2021, the McDonald’s team held conversations with local leaders to solicit guidance on ways to best support the Chicago community – and bolstering the futures of the city’s young people became the primary focus for this grant program. The team then developed a partnership with the Trust, identifying local organizations that work specifically with Black and Latinx youth on the South and West sides of the city and provide ongoing life skills training and pre-employment support, as well as critical services like mental health programs and mentorship opportunities.
By investing in organizations across the city that have dedicated resources and programming,
the grants will help support the success of future generations and help them achieve their full
"With Chicago as home to our global headquarters, we’re prioritizing our investment in the
socio-economic wellbeing of our city for the long-term by partnering with leading community
groups," said Joe Erlinger, President of McDonald’s USA. "These organizations provide critical
support to our neighborhoods and share our mission to reduce barriers to educational and
economic opportunity. Together, we are taking a meaningful step forward in our commitment
to ensure our communities thrive for generations to come.”
The Grant Program expands on McDonald’s – including its Franchisees’ and its suppliers’ – longstanding community philanthropic efforts. As one of the world’s leading brands headquartered in Chicago, McDonald’s believes it has a duty to fulfill its purpose of feeding and fostering communities in the area it has called home for more than six decades.
About Chinese Mutual Aid Association
Proudly founded by ethnic Chinese refugees in 1981, Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) is led by many prominent individuals from the Pan-Asian American community. Our purpose is to serve the needs, promote the interests, and enhance the well-being of low-income, diverse immigrant and refugee communities across metropolitan Chicago through social services, advocacy, educational programming and assistance for youth, adults, the elderly and small businesses.
About The Chicago Community Trust
The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to strengthening the Chicago region by creating equity, opportunity, and prosperity for all people who call it home. For more than 100 years, the Trust has united generous donors, committed nonprofits, and caring residents to effect lasting change. In 2019, The Chicago Community Trust embarked on a 10-year strategic plan to address one of the most critical challenges of our times — closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap for the Chicago region while responding to our most vulnerable residents’ critical needs. Thanks to its generous donors, in the fiscal year 2021, more than 7,000 organizations received more than $1.4 billion in funding from the Trust and affiliated donor advised fund programs. To learn more, visit www.cct.org.
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with nearly 40,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 95% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and
operated by independent local business owners.