Black History Month

Chicago Positive Impact providing mentorship to Chicago youth through basketball and sports

2 years agoAndy Martinez

At a young age, Tracy Abrams saw firsthand how crucial it was to have someone he could turn to. 

“I was graced enough to have a mentor,” the former University of Illinois basketball star said.

That’s why, as he was deciding what he wanted to do in his career, he had no questions about what he should do: give back

“Just to have somebody to be a positive role model, a positive source of encouragement; that’s something that I always wanted to be able to give back to the youth and kids in my community especially where I grew up,” Abrams said. 

 So he founded Chicago Positive Impact, an organization that provides mentorship and gives back to youth on Chicago’s West and South Sides.

“When I had my mentors it was just, ‘Be positive, think positive,'” Abrams said. “And … that helped me, that motivated me to be a better decision-maker, be better with my behavior. I was like, if I can create this thing to where we can holistically look at it as a community to be positive that it’d be pretty unique.” 

Catch his full interview on the Cubs Weekly Podcast

Here’s more about Abrams and Chicago Positive Impact: 

Chicago Positive Impact was born out of my love for basketball, Chicago, and Chicago’s Youth. I was born and raised in the Chicago Woodlawn community, not too far from where I attended High School at Mount Carmel. Basketball has played a role in my life going back to the age of nine during my humble upbringing on Chicago’s South Side. As a young boy growing up on the City’s South Side, I was faced with daily choices that would become the basis for the trajectory of my life.  During those critical years, I was fortunate to meet someone who I now call my mentor/role model. He recognized the untapped potential of not only my basketball abilities but also my character. I hope to provide this same type of mentorship to the youth involved with Chicago Positive Impact.

After my time at Mt. Carmel High School, I went on to play basketball for the “Fighting Illini” at the University of Illinois under a student-athlete scholarship. After six years as a student-athlete at Illinois, I graduated with three degrees: a Bachelors in Communication, a Masters in Sports Recreation & Tourism and a Masters in Education Policy and Organization Leadership. Throughout my college experience I was recognized by Home Town Heroes, for my outstanding community involvement giving back to Champaign’s Youth. I am excited to carry on this legacy in Chicago with Chicago Positive Impact.

– Tracy Abrams CEO 

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