As journalists, we dutifully report on what’s going wrong, from scandals and corruption to natural disasters and social problems. But far too often the media fails to show the whole picture, neglecting to tell the stories of what is working. From scientific breakthroughs to successful crime-reduction initiatives, the What’s Working Honor Roll highlights some of the best reporting and analysis, from a range of media outlets, on all the ways people are working toward solutions to some of our greatest challenges.
A non-profit organization known as Safe Passage has found a creative way to seek solutions to two big challenges at once: Chicago’s youth violence and veterans’ student loan debt.
For so many service men and women, student debt from college can build up while they are overseas and become extremely difficult to pay off once they return. At the same time, youth violence in parts of Chicago has reached crisis levels. That’s why two veterans from Chicago started Safe Passage: to raise money and pay off veterans’ student loan debt, and then have those veterans give back 100 to 400 hours of community service. Safe Passage assigns veterans to watch over some of the most troubled neighborhoods in Chicago to engage with young people and promote peace and positivity. More than 400 veterans now participate in the program and the levels of violence in the areas served by Safe Passage have significantly dropped.