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Newsletter – June 2021

News & Views

A Message From The Executive Director

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As our fiscal year comes to a close, it is an era of new beginnings at Youth Crossroads (YC) as the organization’s dedicated Executive Director, Dave Terrazino, retired this month and I stepped into the role.

Looking towards the future, we are filled with optimism that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. YC is well positioned to not only continue to return to in-person services but grow our programming to reach more individuals as well. Our summer programs are off to a great start with our Youth Leadership Program, Mentors, B.U.I.L.T. and counseling services. It is heartening to see youth entering our doors once again. Although it has been only a little over a month since I’ve joined the Youth Crossroads team, I couldn’t be prouder of the services our counselors, staff and program coordinators have provided to the community, especially throughout this last harrowing year.

Please sign up for our mailing list or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with our exciting events for the rest of the year, including community outreach events and fundraisers!

I look forward with great anticipation to building upon Dave’s great legacy and working with our board members, staff and community partners. My door is always open.

Enjoy the summer!

Josephine DiCesare
Executive Director

Counseling & Support Services

Counseling Staff Updates

We congratulate Tayra Romo on her promotion to the Associate Director of Counseling Services. She will officially begin in her new role on July 1. I’m excited for her to bring her ideas and broad experience to this position.

School-based counselor Natalia Dorsz will move from the Morton West Freshman Academy to working with the older students at Morton West HS. She has been at Morton West for two years now, first as an intern and one year under her belt as YC staff. We look forward to seeing how Natalia will continue to grow in this position.

Congratulations, Tayra and Natalia!

Michelle Desideri, Director of Counseling Services

Taking Care Of You & Those You Love

There’s so much good information to pass along to our readers about healing mentally after the Covid pandemic, reintegrating our lives without masks, dealing with all kinds of new daily stressors. We’d like to share some of that information with you here:

Black Lives Matter

Juneteenth is the June 19 holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. Long celebrated by the African American community, it is now an Illinois state holiday, and for the first year ever, it’s become a U.S. federal holiday known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.

The holiday is also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day. It marks June 19, 1865, the day when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were finally told that the Civil War had ended and they were free. This was two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863.

Other articles you may find enlightening:

Youth Development Program

Youth Leadership Program (YLP)

“ ‘Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about.”
John Mayer

YLP’s summer program has officially started! After a long school year of e-learning and hybrid learning, our youth are ready to enjoy some “fun in the sun”. Registration for the High School Program is available at the following link:

Briani Shorter, YLP Coordinator

B.U.I.L.T Program (Building Unique Individual Leaders today) Celebrates Juneteenth

Our summer B.U.I.L.T. participants created a Juneteenth Flag and a themed party popper. Students also received Black Lives Matter themed pins in their activity kits to commemorate the day.

Lyric Westbrook, Coordinator,
Middle School Programs

Employment & Internship Opportunities At YC

Do you or does someone you know love to work with social media, write from the heart and want to make a difference in the world to benefit local young people? Youth Crossroads has an immediate opening for a Marketing & Fundraising Coordinator, and we invite you to apply.

Marketing & Fundraising Coordinator Job Description

YC currently has several opportunities to join our team! Please take a look and see if YC should be a part of your future:

School-Based Counselor:
Lincoln Middle School, Berwyn
Status: Full-time, 40 hours per week
Start Date: August 2, 2021
Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience
Benefits, including medical/dental coverage, vacation and sick leave
During the school year, this position works out of Lincoln Middle School in North Berwyn
School District 98.
To interview, send your resume and cover letter to Michelle Desideri at

School-Based Counseling Internship:
Non-paid internship, 24 hours per week
Appropriate for second year or advanced standing MSW students and counseling
Provide assessments, individual & group counseling services to youth at 5 school sites
Hours: in general, 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM, Mondays – Fridays
To interview, send your resume and cover letter to Michelle Desideri at

Youth Development Internship:
Non-Paid Internship, 16 – 24 hours per week
Start Date: August 9, 2021
Appropriate for Bachelor level or first year MSW internship
Assists with YC After-School Programs & Youth Leadership Program
Hours: in general 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Mondays – Fridays
To interview, send your resume and cover letter to Briani Shorter at

Cicero Community Collaborative (CCC)

Youth Ambassadors In The News

Check out the amazing article on our CCC High School Youth Ambassadors and our great AmeriCorps leaders! It’s available in Spanish as well.


Job Opportunites

Manufacturing Careers Internship Program is designed to connect 18-24 year-olds to career paths in manufacturing. Great training opportunity!

Manufacturing Careers Internship – READ MORE HERE

For Your Family’s Health

El Centro de Fortalecimiento Familiar Santa María de Celle y Loyola Medicine tendrán su segunda sesión de Cada Paso sobre Salud Mental. Será en español el 8 de julio a las 11 AM. Nos asociaremos con Pillars Community Health, SGA Youth and Family Services y Access to Care para compartir recursos y aprender más sobre la depresión, la ansiedad y la salud mental de la familia. Regístrese haciendo clic en el volante o utilizando este enlace: CADA PASO

The St. Mary of Celle Family Strengthening Center and Loyola Medicine will be having their second Cada Paso session on Mental Health. It will be in Spanish on July 8 at 11 AM. We will be partnering with Pillars Community Health, SGA Youth and Family Services, and Access to Care to share resources and to learn more about depression, anxiety, and family mental health. Register by using this link: CADA PASO

For information on CCC activities and how to get involved, contact Silvia Perez at 708.484.7400 or Visit our Facebook page at

The Cicero Community Collaborative (CCC), with funding from the United Way of Metro Chicago, organizes local resources to improve conditions for Cicero children, youth and families. Youth Crossroads serves as fiscal agent for the collaborative, with several staff members serving in leadership roles. The goal of the CCC is to help 10,000 children achieve academic and developmental milestones by 2027. CCC has a 3-year plan to achieve this.

Contributors’ Corner

We Couldn’t Do This Meaningful Work Without Your Support

With Gratitude

Special thanks to United Way and Michael Reese Health Trust for their generous grants of $25,000 each for COVID vaccine outreach for our communities! Stay tuned for when the events will be held at Youth Crossroads in the near future.

Thanks For The Warm Welcome!

YC Board President Gil Pena invited members of the local community to meet our new Executive Director, Josephine DiCesare. Many thanks to local civic leaders, members of the fire and police departments, Berwyn Development Corp, North Berwyn Park District, Berwyn Public Library, Morton West HS, and others for attending.

How You Can Make A Difference

Please consider becoming a valued monthly donor.
Your consistent donations allow us to make plans for new programs
better activities, Zoom classes with kids and their families.
ANY amount is appreciated. Can you sign up for $5 per month now?
Yes, I’ll become a monthly donor!

You can make an impact for YC shopping as usual at anytime you shop online. Start at and
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to
Youth Crossroads, at no cost to you.

Another way to make a difference and support a cause that matters to you is AmazonSmile Charity Lists at YC Charity Lists.

Select what you’d like to donate from the Counseling, Youth Development and Office Supplies Lists. You pay nothing extra, and Smile.Amazon ships directly to us. It’s easy! You can do it now by clicking on this link:

All the good work you see in this newsletter is possible thanks
to the support of donors who trust us to do good work for local youth.
YOU make it happen, and we are most grateful.

Please share why you support YC’s mission to GUIDE SUPPORT and INSPIRE local youth. We’d love to hear what your “Why” is. Feedback always helps us do better work!

Stay Connected with Youth Crossroads – There’s Lots Going On!