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What We Do

GRIP's programs strategically create opportunities for youth and Christian adults to connect and develop Life-on-Life relationships.

Our Model


We recruit, train, and equip a network of caring adult volunteers to serve as mentors to youth in the city. We provide resources and ongoing support for these mentors through training retreats and monthly meetings with staff as they engage and build deep relationships with young people.


We connect with students through our SLAM and GRIP The School programs. GRIP The School is strategically hosted in Chicago Public High Schools where connections are initiated and students are invited to SLAM where they will meet mentors who are willing and ready to build Life-on-Life relationships with them.


Our staff members walk alongside our volunteer mentors, ensuring mentors are growing in their personal faith and thriving in their relationship with students. Our Mentorship Managers provide Godly encouragement, informed resources, and consistent training as mentors invest in the lives of Chicago’s youth


As mentors get to know youth, they are able to identify their true needs, partner with their families, and help them develop holistically. They focus investing into growing their students in academics, life skills, career goals, family life, and spiritual life. GRIP’s Future Steps program further helps prepare students for adulthood through college and career development.

Our Programs

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SLAM is a high-energy sports and team-building outreach program that runs in three strategic neighborhoods in Chicago. SLAM is a launching pad for mentors and students to meet, engage in games and discussions together, and work to build deep Life-on-Life relationships that continue outside the walls of SLAM.

Every Monday night
@ 7:00 PM,

Kiel Russell – SLAM Central Director

Contact Kiel

Every Monday night
@ 6:45 PM,

Will Wagner – SLAM West Director

Contact Will

Every 2nd Friday Night
@ 6:45 PM

Erick Correa – SLAM Northwest Director

Contact Erick

Interested in Volunteering at SLAM?

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GRIP The School

At GRIP The School, we partner with six Chicago Public High Schools where we connect with students at Cookies & Convos – a discussion group that meets during students’ lunch periods. GRIP staff facilitates discussions around topics including grief, conflict resolution, current events, and students’ experiences with church. We also run a Boxing Club at Steinmetz High School to further connect with students. At both programs, relationships are built and students are invited to SLAM where they’ll connect and build towards Life-on-Life relationships with mentors.

Partner Schools:

Future Steps

Future Steps leverages the network of Life-on-Life relationships to offer practical support for our youth and young adults as they learn important life skills and pursue jobs, college and/or career goals. With Future Steps, our young people are equipped to understand their unique, God-given design, form a vision for their future through Career Fairs and college visits, and are empowered to live it out through practical workshops that guide them in their high school, college, and adult careers.




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