WWP was launched in 2007 on Chicago’s West Side as an after-school program by founding Executive Director Frank Latin. The mission of this largely volunteer initiative is to provide positive youth development by using digital media and journalism as tools for civic engagement, as well as individual and community transformation. To date, WWP has provided services to over 1500 students.
In 2007 WWP began partnering with Chicago Commons to conduct after-school writing workshops. Students in grades 6-8 began publishing and distributing their own neighborhood publication, The Ave., which discussed news, issues and events that occurred along Chicago Avenue where the group regularly met.
In 2010 WWP partnered with Jabob Beidler Elementary School to:
• Create the school’s first student-produced newsletter, Word on Walnut.
• Document Beidler’s ‘successful Save Our School’ campaign as it was slated for closure/consolidation by CPS
In 2010 WWP participated in a cross cultural project, ‘East meets West’ that brought African-American and Latino youth from different sides of Humboldt Park together for an in-depth digital media training exercise
Building off that experience, during the summer of 2010, WWP hosted its first Summer Digital Media Workshop in which students from various area schools came together to form a student news team researching and reporting on a variety of community, citywide and national issues from a student perspective.
In 2012 WWP began partnering with CAN-TV and Loyola University of Chicago (LUC) to add a broadcast news component to its list of core programs.
In 2014, as part of the Arts Partners in Residence program, WWP began offering media arts-related programming at Amundsen Park where we launched our Sports Reporting program.