Make a difference in at risk teens lives…volunteer


Clients enjoying some comradery

"Everyone has a gift," says Chelsea Armstrong, founder of Tabula Rasa, who is looking for volunteers. "We need people to share their gift with our teens." 

"An architect spoke to them about what he does. A resume writer is doing a resume writing workshop once a month.  A banker is talking about financial literacy. All our volunteers are making a difference," she explained. 

Tabula Rasa is asking people to tell them about their skills or suggest what they would like to do. Step one is to fill in an online form and then they will call the volunteer. 


Cassandra is a client who just graduated from a medical assistant program

Tabula Rasa, which means "clean slate," came into being in Feb 2009. Every day, Armstrong, a teacher in the alternative school in Cook County jail, saw how ex-offenders need help to stay out of jail. Setting up the organization, they decided to focus on 17 to 21-year-olds who have an arrest record or have been incarcerated.  

With a residential program as their long term goal, they began their programming in January 2010. Since then, they have served 82 and have a current client count of 17. Those being served live in various locations from homes with family and friends to shelters.


Eugene Tucker is an other success story. Once a client, now an intern.

Unlike the State of Illinois, 93% of Tabula Rasa clients stay out of jail. Illinois stats show that 73% of their juveniles return to jail in three years, 

Tabula Rasa's approach is to offer education, weekly relapse prevention sessions, one-on-one mentoring, individual and group counseling and life skills classes as well as housing referrals. This holistic approach to rehabilitation includes cultural field trips and community service commitment.



No Surprise

Chelsea has always been a giving, caring, non-judgmental person. I knew she would go out and change the word. SO proud of her!

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