PACIONE ZAYAS HB 4201CHICAGO – Students of public universities and colleges will soon have access to an on-campus point-person to help them find and apply for assistance programs thanks to a law sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago).

“There are countless assistance programs offered by campuses, communities and the state for students to take advantage of,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Now, an on-campus benefits navigator can help students find and apply for programs for food or housing assistance, scholarships, and more.”

The new law requires each public university and community college in Illinois to designate a benefits navigator to assist students in identifying and applying for benefit programs and campus-wide and community assistance programs.

Additionally, the benefits navigator will participate in a statewide consortium with navigators from other universities and colleges to develop best practices and coordinate information.

“The benefits navigator will be a go-to person for students needing to traverse campus and community resources and will help to address resource insecurities like food and housing that many college students face,” said State Representative Maurice West, House sponsor of the legislation. “Having benefit navigators in our colleges and universities will ensure many students obtain the tools and resources they need to successfully complete college and make a better life for themselves and their families.”

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the measure into law Tuesday. It goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: Press Releases


Summer camps and programs for students of all ages

Mayors Youth Commission

The application for the Chicago Mayor’s Youth Commission is closing soon! Youth aged 14-19 are encourages to apply to have their voice heard. Learn more and apply at  

CPS summer programs

CPS-run summer programs help students receive extra academic, social and emotional support, connect them with their school communities, and encourage them to explore new skills so they are ready and confident when the 2022–23 school year begins. You can browse programs at For the most up-to-date information about the summer programs available to your child, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s school directly.  

Additional programs through Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, and My CHI. My Future.

In addition to CPS-run programs, Chicago also offers amazing weekend and summer programs — and job opportunities — through the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and the city’s My CHI. My Future site. Please visit these partners to find programs that are right for your family.

 Summer sports

CPS’ Office of Sports Administration (OSA) is excited to announce our programming for the 2022 CPS Summer Sports Skills Camps for students entering grades 5–12! Summer sports skills camps are an opportunity for current elementary and high school students to develop their skills in their favorite sport or learn about new sports FREE OF CHARGE. The District will be running summer sports skills camps from July 6–28, 2022 at over 15 sites across the city, including schools, athletic centers, and parks. Camps will run Monday–Thursday each week unless noted otherwise. Please review the summer camp offerings and registration portal  to sign your student up for summer programming.

Shedd Aquarium tickets through the Community Partners program

Get tickets for Shedd Aquarium by visiting Select a date and time, choose “Partner Voucher” and write “Museums in the Park” in the “Information needed” section. Reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 312-939-2438 for questions.

Discover Illinois products

The Illinois Makers program celebrates the efforts of small businesses with unique, creative and homemade products who set our state’s local goods apart. Explore Illinois Makers across the state:

Beating the heat

Summer is getting hotter! Chicago offers various cooling centers throughout the city, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chicago Parks and Libraries can also be used during times of extreme heat. Remember: check on older family and neighbors. You can call 3-1-1  to request a well-being check.  

CoolingCentersEng CoolingCentersSpan

Illinois Department of Human Services information on accessing baby formula

As the U.S. confronts a critical baby formula shortage nationwide, IDHS is providing information and answers to the many questions surrounding some specialty and medically-prescribed infant formulas. Learn more and get the resources you may need at www.DHS.Illinois.Gov/BabyFormula.

Where to find COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in Chicago

COVID-19 booster shots (Pfizer) are available for anyone age 5 and older. Chicago offers various options for when and where to receive a first or second dose or a booster shot. Visit  on the City of Chicago website.  

Category: Newsletters

PACIONE ZAYAS SB 3991CHICAGO – A law to help identify families in need of additional financial assistance for college savings accounts was signed Tuesday, thanks to the hard work of State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas.

“A big part of helping families afford college is making sure they know what financial assistance resources are available,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “This law will not only allow for additional deposits in a Children’s Savings Account for students from financially unstable households, it will also help us understand who is taking advantage of the program and allow us to target outreach to families who might not be aware of it.”

The Illinois Children’s Savings Account program will go into effect in 2023. Under the current program, applicable families will receive a seed deposit of $50. The new law, formerly Senate Bill 3991, allows the state treasurer’s office to supplement CSA’s for financially insecure households with additional funds.

Additionally, the law requires the treasurer’s office to collect more data on program participants to keep track of the social and geographic makeup of those who are utilizing these accounts. This will help further ensure equitable roll out of the program.

“As a parent of three children, I have spent years advocating for a statewide children’s savings account program. I didn’t go to college, but my son was lucky enough to receive a scholarship,” said Liliana Olayo, Co-President POWER-PAC IL and member of the Steering Committee of Financial Inclusion for All Illinois. “With a statewide CSA program that promotes equity, more families like mine will have hope for the future and an investment in their children’s potential early on.”

The law was signed Tuesday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023. 

Category: Press Releases

Bingo1CHICAGO – To get to know older residents in the districts they represent, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) and State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) visited two local residential buildings to enjoy lunch, meet residents and play bingo.

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Category: Press Releases

Museum Card Inquiry Form

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Office Information

Springfield Office:
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
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