First Step

Welcome to First Step, a video series featuring athletes engaging the communities most affected by today’s social issues, from education and unemployment, to child hunger and homelessness among LGBTQ youth. In this fourth installment, Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler takes a first step to help young men in Chicago avoid violence.

Truth be told, when you think of Chicago, you just think of all the violence. But you have to think about what these kids go through on a daily basis here. I think all they want is for you to feel their pain. And although you may not feel their pain as much as they do, if you can get a grasp on it and feel it just a little bit, they’ll be able to tell.

Youth mentorship is important to me because when I was a kid I used to look up to guys who were in my position. When I hang out with kids these days, I get to learn what’s going on in their lives and how they’re feeling — I also find out how they want to change the world.