Join a community of hundreds of corps members and alumni working to give students the opportunity to live a life of their choosing.
A big city with Midwestern friendliness, Chicago will never cease to surprise you. Chicago has long been a prominent destination for people looking for new opportunities, both from within the United States and abroad. The city exemplifies this history through its 77 distinctive neighborhoods, which are shaped by traditions brought from countries across the globe. Though it has all of the benefits of a major metropolis—an extensive public transit system, phenomenal theaters and museums, beautiful public parks—Chicago's neighborhoods, and the communities built within them, are the heart and soul of the city.
Northwest Indiana North Chicago provide corps members with the opportunity to be a part of a small, tight-knit community within the context of a large, urban region. In Northwest Indiana, we place corps members in Gary, a city of 80,000 residents. North Chicago, in Northern Illinois, is a city of 30,000 residents.
These communities in Chicago, North Chicago, and Northwest Indiana are deeply engaged in local politics and policy. Parents advocate for their students, teachers push politicians on issues of access and equity, and students make their voices heard. This dedication and passion has resulted in incredible progress for local school districts. Chicago is now the fastest improving urban school district in the country, but there is still much work to be done. Both within and outside of the classroom, there are countless opportunities for corps members looking to make a difference.
CPS freshmen who say they want to graduate from college
CPS students who earn a bachelor’s degree
“Something that’s been instrumental to VOCEL’s success is continuing to be connected to a growing alumni base of people who are committed to doing what’s best for children, and also being really innovative and urgent about getting there.”
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, and you’ll never run out of different destinations to explore—whether you’re looking for your new favorite book store, your new favorite deep dish joint, or if you’re just on the hunt for the next Tina Fey/Amy Poehler duo. We’re pretty confident no matter how much time you spend here, you’ll never run out of things to do (some of them may even be free).
Welcome to Gary, Indiana! STEEL CITY USA! Located in the heart of Northwest Indiana (aka The Region), Gary was founded in 1906 by Elbert H Gary, former Chairman of the United States Steel Corporation. The city originated as the chosen site for the location of what was to be the world’s largest steel plant. Gary became home to thousands of steel workers and their families. For many African-Americans during the Great Migration from the south, this is one of the places where families came to settle and find new opportunities to build the American Dream. In the 1960s, like many other industrial urban centers, Gary saw a decline in the steel industry. In 1968, Gary elected Richard Gordon Hatcher as its first African American Mayor who served for 20 years. In 2006 Gary celebrated its centennial, and in 2012 Gary made history again by electing their first African American women mayor Karen Freeman Wilson. The city continues to be a major steel producer, and while it still has economic challenges to overcome, the people are deeply invested in bringing a resurgence of business, home ownership, and entrepreneurial pursuits to the community.
Located in Lake County, with a population of approximately 30,000 residents you’ll find North Chicago. Formerly known as South Waukegan, it wasn't until 1901 that North Chicago received its name. Due to the city’s unique location to LakeMichigan and Chicago, it was the ideal area for manufacturing. From horse collar pads to barbed wires, as the industrial base increased so did the population. With nearby attractions now such as Six Flags, Illinois Beach State Park, and the Chicago Botanic Gardens, there’s plenty to do and see. Welcome to North Chicago!
Our Regional Partners
We value our partnerships with local schools, districts, universities, businesses, and other organizations. Our partners play a critical role in creating opportunities for children in our communities.
National Louis University
Relay Graduate School of Education
Acero Charter Schools
Bronzeville Academy Charter School
Catalyst Charter Schools
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Tech Academy
Great Lakes Academy
KIPP Charter Schools
LEARN Charter Schools
Noble Network of Charter Schools
North Lawndale College Prep
North Chicago Community School District 187
Perspectives Charter Schools
Steel City Academy
UChicago Charter Schools
Urban Prep Academies