Our Impact

The CGF Effect

We aim to strengthen our youth’s capacity for knowledge, creativity, and meaningful work. Here are a variety of ways to look at the Common Ground Effect.

The Demographics

Our Mentors

  • Are educators and health professionals
  • Come from similar backgrounds to our students
  • Provide academic, social, and emotional support to their students
  • Have touch points with students on a weekly basis outside of our monthly sessions
  • Champion their mentees individual goals
A mentor taking a photo with his mentee dressed up and looking at the camera

Our Students

  • Come from high potential communities where they have not had access to the resources needed to thrive
  • Have the potential to achieve in and graduate high school
  • Need an extra layer of support outside of their family and school
Two students at a conference smiling. One student has two thumbs up
The Numbers


Since starting our Dreamers & Believers mentoring program in 2012:

Over 500 high school students and alumni served from the south and west sides of Chicago

We have graduated over 140 students from high school

Of that 89%, 84% go on to a four-year university

2 cohorts of CGF students have graduated college

We have maintained a 100% high school graduation rate.

89% of our high school graduates enroll in college

96% of our high school graduates have a plan for their future after graduation that includes: college, going straight into the workforce, trade schools, or entering the military.

The Stories
from Our Students

The Common Ground Foundation has affected thousands of students and changed their paths in profound ways.

Jasmine Smith reflects on her CGF experience.

From archery to connecting with fellow students and mentors, Jasmine has made the most of her experience with Common Ground.  Her plans for the future are bright and exciting.

Read What Others
Have To Say…

“My favorite part of this foundation has been the genuine care the mentors show their mentees. They are not thinking of this as just another job, or forgetting the people they helped once they leave the foundation. They want to continue to guide all of their students to success, even beyond their time at the Common Ground Foundation.”


“My favorite parts were when we were able to make time to meet in person. I know that this year that was a lot harder to do but I enjoyed the few times I got to meet my mentors and peers in person. I also loved group activities like the vision board where we got to learn more about everyone in the session!”

“Common Ground has been amazing even through covid times. I know we can’t see each other in person but y’all do an amazing job reaching out to people. My favorite part are the meetings because the mentors are truly interested in what has been going on in your life for the past month and i appreciate that.”


“I really enjoyed everything, but I think my favorite part was where we told the group good things about our month. Even if I didn’t have anything to share it was nice hearing other black students experience joy and success, and it was also nice hearing all the affirmation and excitement that the rest of the group responded with because that’s something I don’t get to see a lot of at my PWI.”