Chicago police officer launches program to mentor and guide city's youth

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, January 28, 2023
CPD officer launches program to mentor, guide city's youth
Students participating in a Chicago Police Department officer's mentorship program started a community garden in Englewood when Whole Foods closed.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- January is National Mentorship Month, celebrating mentors around the globe whose wisdom, guidance and positivity have made a difference in the lives of young people.

The purpose of mentorship is near and dear to Kenneth Griffin, a youth officer for the Chicago Police Department's 5th District. It's what inspired him to start his own organization, "No Matter What." The nonprofit is dedicated to helping Chicago children reach their full potential through mentorship, career training and mental health awareness.

Before becoming an officer, Griffin worked as a chef, cultivating his passion for food. As the founder of No Matter What, Kenneth relentlessly provides a safe space for Chicago youth to thrive "no matter what" obstacles they face.

SEE ALSO | Some Englewood residents threaten to boycott Save A Lot replacing Whole Foods

Students participating in No Matter What's programs built a community garden following the news that Whole Foods would be closing in Englewood. The Denzel Thornton Memorial Garden now serves as a safe haven, and is a space for students to learn how to cultivate the land, plant their own food, and understand what it takes to grow fruits and vegetables that can feed a community.

On Sunday, March 5, No Matter What will host the 2023 Culinary Futures Fundraiser. The event will feature delicious bites prepared and served mostly by Chicago Public School students, an open bar, live music and a silent auction - all to support the youth of Chicago's community. Tickets for the fundraiser are $125 and available to purchase at