These two development projects align with the Austin Forward. Together. (AFT) quality-of-life plan and its overarching vision for a thriving community. They will help progress AFT’s goals around Youth Empowerment and Austin having healthier and more engaged youth who are able to reach their full potential. More specifically, they will assist in establishing more safe spaces for youth; increasing opportunities for youth engagement and empowerment; and expanding supportive programs for local youth’s social, emotional, and physical well-being.

AFT is a set of goals created by and for the community designed to address 23 strategies with 84 total actions across 7 Issue Areas between 2019 and 2023: Community Narrative, Education, Housing, Youth Empowerment, Economic Development, Public Safety, and Civic Engagement.


By The Hand Club For Kids broke ground on August 11, 2021 to begin construction on their sixth site in North Austin which will serve 400 kids from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The innovative space will be a 150,000-square-foot professional-level sport, education and wellness facility on a 10-acre campus that will provide the same opportunity for growth, impact and sustainability that their other sites offer. Located on Laramie, it will have outdoor and indoor fields, including Chicago’s only FIFA-regulation turf arena for year-round indoor sports.


  • Form a Community Advisory Committee to help ensure the project continues to be what Austin wants and needs
  • Offer 100 hours weekly of free activities for youth and adults
  • Make scholarships available for after-school services for 400 K-12th grade students
  • Professional-level basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball and futsal camps, leagues and academies available for youth of all ages with fees on a sliding-scale to ensure neighborhood access
  • Host the nonprofit Intentional Sports to provide best-in-class sports programs, competitive opportunities, and health and wellness training
  • Partner with the Grace and Pace Revise Center to provide education, health, awareness, advocacy and community-linked services to develop individuals’ and families’ capacity to thrive
  • Help youth improve their cognitive ability, social interactions, and the likelihood of graduating high school,
    just by playing sports*

*Maslen, P. (2015, December 29). The Social and Academic Benefits of Team Sports. Edutopia.


BUILD THE FUTURE is a bold $24 million campaign to invest in Austin youth with a full city-block campus, featuring 51,000 sq feet of new and renovated space surrounded by green playfields and gardens.

This welcoming and supportive safe space will dramatically expand BUILD’s services and capacity, allowing them to open more widely to the community. Located at Harrison and Laramie at Austin’s Southern Gateway, the transformed campus will stand for growth, opportunity, joy, and every child’s right to grow up and achieve their potential. BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) is one of Chicago’s leading gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development organizations. BUILD’s mission is to inspire hope and offer opportunities so youth facing systemic obstacles can achieve positive futures. BUILD offers programs at 15 schools in six Chicago neighborhoods as well as the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and BUILD’s Austin campus. BUILD THE FUTURE officially got underway after a groundbreaking event on August 12, 2021.

“Our youth have to be cultivated as leaders. We often say they’re the future but they’re the right now.” – Bradly Johnson, Director of External Affairs at BUILD, Inc. and Chair of the Public Safety Task Force for the Austin Forward. Together. quality-of-life plan.


  • A Youth Council to help ensure the project continues to be what Austin wants and needs
  • Expanded hours and days to grow capacity from 100 to 2,000
  • Full-sized, climate controlled gym, track, and fitness center
  • Art studios and classrooms, galleries, performance spaces, and fully- equipped recording studio
  • Makers lab, woodshop, and computing center, all hosting new workforce programs
  • Youth lounges and homework spaces
  • Mental health center will offer expanded services to youth and their families
  • Public cafe and community garden
  • New greenspace, playfield, and outdoor community event space
  • A home for the Austin Peace and Justice Center (APJC) that will further the restorative justice goals of the Austin Forward. Together. quality-of-life plan