The Black Student Movement at UIC (University of Illinois – Chicago ) came together about five years ago and decided to address the educational needs of the community by having The Saturday School Initiative. Originally they met at the James Jordan Boys/Girls Club, then moved to 4020 W. Division about five years ago.

Saturday School Initiative is run by program coordinator Julie Davis, Director Jenny Madere, and educators Wallace Wilbourn Jr., Vernon Lindsay, Jessica Williams, Brandon Daurham and O’Donavan Johnson for the Community Education Network (CEN), a non-profit organization that strives to address issues of social inequality through innovative, community-based education programs.

One of CEN’s goals is to address the educational and social needs of the community through The Saturday School Initiative. The program volunteers’ main objective is to enhance and promote academic achievement and social change by exposing African-American youth to the contributions of black people globally throughout history, creating self-awareness and the motivation to become world leaders.

All of the children get special hugs from Jenny Madere and, according to Julie Davis, Jenny loves everybody and the children love this attention. It appears the leaders at Mary McLeod Bethune Saturday School are living examples of young adults “giving back to the community.”