Ava's Change4Youth Logo

Ava raises awareness of youth homelessness

SamKirkMeterArtist Cut smallYoung activist Ava Santos-Volpe, age 12, is a girl on a mission. While working on a class leadership project two years ago, Ava asked a youth homelessness advocate to visit her school to discuss Chicago’s youth housing crisis. After learning more, Ava decided she needed to help — but didn’t know how. That summer, while on a family trip to Florida, she spotted a parking meter collecting coins to donate to a homeless shelter. Something clicked.

We are excited to unveil, Ava’s Change4Youth, an art mentorship program that raises awareness of youth homelessness – a problem that disproportionately affects LGBTQ+ teens. This project works to pair participating youth with prominent artists to transform repurposed parking meters into captivating public art pieces. These meters will be used as donation stations across the city, collecting coins to be disbursed among local nonprofit groups.