Menu Close

Newsletter – December 2022

Support Youth Crossroads This Holiday Season!

Over the past several months, Youth Crossroads has been awarded several large grants from the State of Illinois and Cook County to address the youth mental health crisis, gun violence and food insecurity in our community. That doesn’t mean we don’t still need your help. Individual contributions are the largest driving factor in an organization’s fundraising efforts. While we have been able to use our grants to begin offering community counseling, workforce development, and expanded after-school programs, we also need to build our organizational capacity. In particular, our counseling and youth development staff worked incredibly hard these last two years to respond to a mental health crisis that has claimed the lives of 12 students in our schools, and a gun violence epidemic that has taken 10 of our youth. When you make a donation to Youth Crossroads, you make it possible for us to attract and keep the best staff who make it possible for us to guide, support and inspire our community’s youth and families.


CCC Parent- Mentors Support Cicero Elementary Schools

The Cicero Community Collaborative has trained 16 Cicero parents to serve as teaching assistants at Liberty and Warren Park elementary schools. The parent-mentors are paid a $1,000 stipend to provide 100 hours of classroom support to teachers teach literature, writing,, math, and other subjects.

Community Memorial Foundation Grant Supports Counseling in Lyons

Youth Crossroads was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Community Memorial Foundation to provide counseling services at George Washington Middle School and Lincoln Elementary School in Lyons. The grant makes it possible for YC to hire a part-time counselor and counseling intern to serve individual and group counseling at the schools. YC has been providing limited counseling students in Lyons for the past year following a suicide at George Washington Middle School.

Gun Violence Prevention Grant Targets Youth Most At-Risk

Youth Crossroads was awarded a $475,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services to provide trauma-informed care to Cicero and Berwyn youth who have been involved in the criminal justice system. The grant will provide mental health services for youth (ages 10-24) who have been impacted by bullying, severe family conflict or neglect, and other victimization scenarios, and have no positive support structures in place.

“Build-Ups, Put Downs” Role-Play Helps Students Respond to Stressors

8th grade students at Heritage Middle School are learning how to better respond to compliments and insults through the role-play activity “Build-Ups, Put Downs.” Students write down a variety of compliments and insults they’ve experienced, which are put into a jar and then acted out by the students in a group setting. The activity helps students learn how to respond more effectively to the words of other students.

YC Introduces Parent Chats to Support More Effective Communication Skills

YC recently concluded its first ever parent counseling group – YC Parent Chats. This group met once a week in the fall to discuss major topics of parenting, including positive discipline, conflict resolution, anger management, building trust and respect, and coping skills. The Chats, which are offered in both English and Spanish, will resume in February. For more information, contact Tayra at

YC is Growing its Counseling Staff

Youth Crossroads is seeking a Licensed Mental Health Counselor to provide community-based services in Chicago’s near west suburbs. Join a dedicated team of behavioral, mental health, and youth development specialists helping a dynamic community of youth and families discover new opportunities for personal development, healthy relationships and positive community involvement. For information contact Michelle at

Art Therapy Group Inspired By Nature

Students at Morton Alternative School in Cicero are learning to turn to nature for self-soothing. Students participating in the new art therapy group are learning how to incorporate nature into their art-making. The students spend time walking around their school and being inspired by the natural environment, which helps them learn to let creativity and nature be a guiding force in their lives.