The Midtown Educational Foundation (MEF) is committed to providing Chicago’s urban youth with the resources they need to positively transform their lives, families, and communities. MEF’s vision is exemplified by the acronym “A V.I.P.,” which also describes every child the organization serves. This acronym represents its four guiding principles to success: academics, virtues, individual attention, and parents.

MEF provides supplemental after-school and summer programs focusing on academic enrichment, character development, individualized attention, and extracurricular activities. But, what sets MEF apart from similar organizations is its emphasis on parental involvement. MEF recognizes the important role parents and guardians play in their children’s success and offers great resources including parenting classes, discussions, and conferences.

Our mural depicts the life of a child who receives personal mentorship and support and uses what they’ve learned to pay it forward to the next generation. We hope all who see the mural consider doing the same by volunteering at MEF. Volunteers are at the core of the foundation; each volunteer is paired with a student to act as a tutor and mentor, providing the support the child needs to thrive.

And, with Giving Tuesday approaching, now is the perfect time to get involved by volunteering or donating to MEF. Or, consider attending the MEF Annual Soiree in May. This event is open to the public, and all proceeds go to supporting and improving the MEF centers. Please visit to learn more about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.