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For close to 100 years, LYDIA Home Association has been making a difference in the lives of Chicago children and families who are dealing with everything from homelessness and poverty to abuse and neglect. LYDIA has a residential treatment center that’s home to 40 kids, plus non-traditional high schools, foster care program and much more. These kids are dealing with a lot, but they know one thing for sure: at LYDIA, they are loved. Join us to make an impact!
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Strengthening families to care for children
and caring for children when families cannot.
Home · Programs · LYDIA Urban Academy - Chicago · Urban Academy - Chicago
LYDIA Urban Academy is an accredited, non-traditional high school that provides a safe, nurturing environment for students who may have experienced academic adversity in the past. With a Christ-honoring staff, we believe in empowering youth through education, advocacy, and discipleship. Each class is designed using differentiated instruction based on student interests, readiness, learning styles, and social-emotional needs. 

LUA Graduates earn a high-school diploma, not a GED (General Equivalency Diploma). This distinction is important, because employers place more value on a diploma, seeing it as an indication of the student's work-ethic, self-discipline, and future success. Graduates of LUA are able to enroll in both community colleges and trade schools.

LUA's core curriculum includes English, math, social studies and science classes that adhere to Illinois State standards for excellence. In addition, students are required to complete a curriculum of courses designed to develop the skills necessary for independent living. Examples of these types of skills are:
  • Applying to and financing post-secondary education
  • Obtaining and maintaining employment
  • The ins and outs of credit, banking, saving, budgeting, and other components of personal finance
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually, and mentally
  • Understanding and taking advantage of educational opportunities within the Chicagoland area
  • Learning the importance of serving in the community and having empathy for others
In order to make LUA's private education affordable to all students, LYDIA Urban Academy developed a work-study program which combines two commonly used business concepts: employee leasing and job sharing. This initiative gives our students the opportunity to finance part of their education while gaining critical job skills. Students work four hours every week after school.

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Director, LUA-Chicago
(773) 653-2266
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