Friends of the Children-Chicago is an independent 501(c)3 organization founded in 2018. As part of a city-wide violence reduction strategy, we identify children in communities most impacted by poverty and violence and pair them with paid, Professional Mentors -called "Friends" -who support their social, emotional, and academic growth. We commit to our youth for 12.5 years, starting in kindergarten. No matter what. We also work closely with parents and caregivers to empower them to advocate for themselves and their children.