Chicago Civic Leadership Certificate Program CCLCP

First project to win CCLCP Capstone Award
creates Web presence for community health clinic

Aleksa Slapsys and Ashraf Abbas won CCLCP’s first Capstone Award for their 2009 project, UICNIwhich created a Web site for the community health center located at Young Women’s Leadership Charter School (YWLCS). The only all-girls public school in Chicago, YWLCS is located in the Near South Side neighborhood of the city, just east of the Prairie Avenue Historic District, Chicago’s original “Gold Coast.” The community clinic housed in YWLCS is operated by Community Health Centers of UIC’s Great Cities Neighborhoods Initiatives.               

The goal of the project was to give community members easy online access to information about services available to them at the school-based clinic.


To ensure that the new Web site met the needs of both the community and the clinic, A screenshot of the website createdAleksa and Ashraf conferred with many different individuals, particularly the clinic nursing staff. Aleksa reported that interaction with the clinic nurses “let us get a look into the sector of public health. I have learned a lot from working within this community of practice and realize the amount of work that goes into running a school-based health center.”


Ashraf Abbas, with his 2007 CCLCP Capstone Award. His co-winner, Aleksa Slapsys, was not present for the award ceremony, which was part of the May 2007 CCLCP Convocation. To build their seven-page site, both Aleksa and Ashraf learned to use Web-site design software. Their major design goals were to ensure the site was well-organized, readable, and free of medical jargon. As Ashraf reported, “We aimed to make the Web site easily accessible and easily understood, while at the same time making sure to provide appropriate information.”


The CCLCP Capstone Award includes a $100 award to each winning student, who also receives an engraved obelisk. The community partner organization involved in the project also receives a $100 award. The 2009 capstone awards were underwritten by a grant from TCF Bank.