We are thrilled to share that Jawaun Stamps, a 19-year-old Changing Voices Ensemble Member and Peer Mentor, was appointed to Mayor Lightfoot’s Youth Council as a youth advocate. He was one of 23 young people from across the city selected for the council.

It’s hard to believe that just eight weeks ago, Jawaun was shot in the leg.

While enjoying the end of a warm July, he was the victim of a shooting near his home in Lawndale. He sustained a serious injury and underwent surgery.

Despite this severely traumatic incident and major health issue, he is persevering. Jawaun not only took on this added responsibility to join the Mayor’s Youth Council, but he also enrolled at Malcolm X College as a first-year college student this fall. In addition, his duty as a Peer Mentor means he leads workshops, encourages fellow ensemble members, and models professionalism at all times.

Jawaun’s ensemble sees him as a beacon of resilience and strength. He continues to heal, gain mobility, and work to prioritize his safety. He is brimming with potential in spite of the immense obstacles put in his path. We’re all extremely proud of him and trust that he will represent the voices of Chicago’s unheard youth with dignity to decision-makers in our city.



Check out more photos of the council’s first meeting.