AYS Service Project

What is AYS?

AYS is a non-profit after-school and weekend program for youth as young as pre-schoolers and as old as high-school seniors. Located in Uptown Chicago, AYS was established within the Asian community, but it serves a diverse group, including Black and Latino youth.

To learn more about AYS, check out the AYS website.

What is the AYS Service Project?

The AYS Service Project is a year-long community service partnership between Asian Youth Services (AYS), OASIS, Community Service Office at the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), and Asian/Asian American Student Affairs (A/AASA) benefiting Asian, Black, and Latino youth. The children come from families with parents who have had no formal schooling and almost all of them receive public aid and rely on AYS for assistance beyond academic tutoring. AYS has become a second home, a safe and comfortable place for children to learn and interact with other children. Northwestern student volunteers serve as tutors and mentors to AYS students. They help with academics (anywhere from basic reading and writing to SAT and ACT preparation), play games, and engage the youth in activities on a weekly basis.

How often can I volunteer?

Site leaders lead a group of students to AYS several days each week (typically 3 days per week, including Saturdays). Student volunteers may go as little as once per week or as many as 3 times per week depending on interest level and academic schedule. Each volunteering trip lasts 2-3 hours.

How do I get to AYS?

Site leaders drive volunteers via university vans on each day of volunteering. The vans leave campus at a set time each day, usually from Norris University Center or Foster-Walker Complex.

If student volunteers would like to go to AYS (or leave AYS) at times different from the van schedule, students may pick up pre-paid El train/bus fare cards (valid for 24 hours once activated) from the A/AASA office.

To get to AYS:

  • Take the El Purple Line south
  • Exit at the Howard stop
  • Transfer to the El Red Line south
  • Exit at the Lawrence stop
  • Take the 81 CTA bus west
  • Exit at the Lawrence & California intersection (AYS is at 2801 W. Lawrence Avenue)

A one-way trip takes approximately 30-40 minutes depending on the time of day.

How can I get involved?

Contact us if you would like to be a participant in the AYS Service Project.


A/AASA partners with the following organizations to present the AYS Service Project: