In 2014, viewers were introduced to the students and faculty of Moses Montefiore Academy in Last Chance High, a VICE News series that documented the experiences of at-risk youth in Chicago. Many of the students in the series had been pushed out of traditional classrooms and were on the school-to-prison pipeline track because of their emotional-behavioral challenges.
Despite the difficulty of working with the students, the staff at Montefiore never gave up on them.
The show is back for a new season premiering on VICELAND on August 8 at 10 p.m. EST. Filmmakers Craig and Brett Renaud returned to Montefiore, which has shut its doors. The new season checks in with the local community and how they're adapting to life since Montefiore was shut down.
As more schools close, poor young people have fewer places to go, and many have immediate family members who are dead or in prison. Local organizations and mentors that provide refuge for young people are the places of last resort for a very vulnerable population Derek Brown, a former convict turned youth mentor was featured in the original run of Last Chance High and runs the North Lawndale Boxing League, an after school program focused on changing the lives of at-risk youth in Chicago's underrepresented communities. VICE Impact stands with the community affected by the shutdown of Montefiore and have partnered with the North Lawndale Boxing League to support the efforts of their organization. But we need your help.
The group boxes out negativity -- literally -- by giving participants a space to let out their aggression and learn self-discipline. Right now, the biggest challenge facing Brown since the closure of Montefiore is that the league doesn't have the necessary resources to operate.
Every dollar and cent is needed to help North Lawndale be a safe place. Don't let Last Chance High be their last chance. Donate $5 and do more than watch.
And here are a couple of other organizations doing good work for Chicago's public schools that you can support now:
- Diane's Kids Off the Block program, an after school and community youth organization in Chicago whose primary focus is to curb youth violence. Diane Latiker runs the program which provides shelter and activities for at-risk youth on the South Side, as featured in last year's Noisey Chicago episode on VICELAND.
- The Network for Public Education, a national organization whose goal is to promote, improve and strengthen public schools.