Upward Community supports and enhances the emotional, social and spiritual health of adolescents, young adults and their families with an array of innovative prevention and intervention programs and services. We guide, encourage and uplift youth to reach their potential Step by Step.

Working in the Chicago Jewish community as an organization for over ten years, we continue to listen to the community and focus on the needs that are presented to us in order to support our teens, young adults, and families. Over these years, we have seen tremendous growth of the organization as well as growth of the community and its needs.

We view ourselves as partners, be it with families, teens, schools, Rabbanim, or other community organizations; to help enhance the well-being of our families and community at large. It is our honored duty to ensure that every child and family has an address to turn to when looking for guidance, direction, or simply, support. At Upward Community, we see the great and vast potential of every child. There is no such thing as giving up. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Upward Community is all about providing our children with the support they need to be successful and productive, step by step.

Our role is to service the whole child. We focus on the child, the teen and young adult. Additionally, we are concerned about the family, to ensure growth and stability for everyone involved. We attend to the community, to ensure a strong constant foundation for future generations. Our resolute goal is to be there for every parent, every family, and every child who comes through our doors, and to treat them with the love and respect they deserve. We strongly believe that with a flourishing prevention program and responsive crisis interventions, we, with your continued partnership and support, can impact our community for generations to come.

Our Prevention Programs Include:

The Barry & Harriet Ray Steps to Healthy Living Curriculum
The Upward Community “Steps to Healthy Living” is a well-researched Prevention skills program designed for 5th -12th grades. Specially trained teachers work from a 2,500 page, 30 week curriculum teaching Conflict Resolution, Addictions, Communication Skills, Peer Pressure Reversal Skills, Healthy Decision Making, Internet Safety, Body Image, Stress and Anger Management, Bullying Prevention and more.

Community Education:
Upward Community arranges for renowned and expert guest lecturers to present on a host of topics relevant to all parents in the community.

Our Enrichment Programs Include:

Lounge/Drop in Center:
Upward Community's unique drop-in center, the Lounge, provides teens with a safe, fun and nurturing environment, under the supervision and guidance of Upward Community's staff. The Lounge is a destination for teens to come play, talk, eat and "chill" in a relaxed and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Basketball Leagues:
The basketball league provides teens with a healthy outlet and allows for learning important life skills such as teamwork, self-esteem, the importance of being active, healthy competition and discipline.

Annual Walder Retreat:
Upward Community offers its teens to join them on an annual retreat which focuses on emotional health. The retreat is designed to enhance self acceptance, inner strength and resiliency.

Our Intervention Services Include:

Mozes & Helen Stern Counseling Center:
The counseling center provides assessments, referrals, and psychotherapy services for pre-teens, teens, and emerging adults in the community. At the Counseling Center, our clients receive the utmost professional care from a licensed clinician who is culturally sensitive and trained to work with our clientele. Additionally, we are paneled with select insurance companies and also provide a sliding scale option to make therapy affordable and attainable for our community.


Join Upward Community for our fifth annual men's softball tournament. We will be having a competitive softball tournament all while raising funds for a great organization with a great cause, Upward Community Chicago. Step UP to the plate with Upward Community