Community Expressions. Ecuational Programs

Program Overview

Community Expressions provides youth, ages 15 and above, with an opportunity to explore and embrace their community and cultural identity.  Through this program, students have an opportunity to dig deeper into their cultural uniqueness, consider how to make a positive impact on their community, and create expressions of their community and culture through artistic creation and performance.  The program culminates downtown at HI Chicago where students cook a meal that is culturally significant to them, showcase their works of art to an audience of international travelers, and spend the evening experiencing the world of hostelling and travel, right in their own city. Students leave the program empowered with a greater sense of their community and cultural identity, and a willingness towards making our world a better place. The Community Expressions curriculum is standards-based and qualifies as a Service Learning experience for participants.


Meeting a Need

The Community Expressions program meets a need in our globalized world, as students need to gain proficiency in intercultural interaction as they move from high school to college and the work-force. Through greater understanding of, and appreciation for their own communities and cultures, students become more caring citizen diplomats. Upon completion of the Community Expressions program, students:

  • Strengthen their ability to communicate positively with others
  • Practice and improve their skills working as a team
  • Become open minded and respectful of different people and cultures
  • Improve research and presentation skills
  • Experience the world of travel and hostelling while meeting people from around the world
  • Build pride about their neighborhood, community, and culture


Powerful Outcomes

“I learned that people from other countries are very friendly and interested in learning about you.” Chicago Public School Student

“I think we changed people’s minds about Chicago and its youth.” Chicago Public School Student

To Participate With Your Students

Community Expressions is a meaningful program that takes learning outside of the classroom. The cost of the program for up to 30 students is $1,000 and includes:

  • Community Expressions curriculum, which meets Common Core Standards, supports the mission of International Baccalaureate, and is a recognized Service Learning program
  • Teacher training
  • Classroom visit by HI Chicago educator
  • Accommodation at HI Chicago for students and chaperones
  • Food for cultural dinner with world travelers facilitated by HI Chicago educator
  • Breakfast
  • Printed photo of each participant and Community Expressions scrapbook

Support Intercultural Understanding

Community Expressions is a powerful educational program benefiting the youth of Chicagoland. Can you help HI Chicago reach more youth? Please consider helping with a donation or by becoming a volunteer.

For more information or to register your group, please contact:

Michelle Aldridge

Education Coordinator


[email protected]