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Newsletter – May 2022

The Impact of Gun Violence on our Youth

On May 8, 18-year-old Eduardo Leyva was shot and killed in Cicero. Eduardo, who was a senior at the Morton Alternative High School, was well-liked and respected by the staff and students who knew him. Eduardo was days away from his graduation and was about to be a dad. This was the 3rd shooting and second death to impact the Morton Alternative staff and students in the last 3 months.

This news comes less than a week after we learned that 18-year-old Luis Lopez, also a former Alternative student, was shot and killed and his sibling was critically injured in the same shooting. In both of these cases, the shooter was also a local youth. And it’s not just the Morton Alternative school that is impacted. Staff at Morton West High School struggled with the murder of a former student earlier this year and, fighting and reports of guns and gun violence continues to increase amongst our local youth and affect all of our schools. In response to these local tragedies, Youth Crossroads counseling staff have been running grief counseling and support rooms during the school day following an event to give students and staff a safe place to process their emotions.

Business, Community, Philanthropic, and Civic Leaders Help Make Youth Crossroads 2022 Gala A Huge Success

A huge thank you goes out to our business, community, philanthropic, and civic leaders who stepped to the plate in a big way to support our programs and services. We raised $68,000 in net income at our April 22, Gala.Highlights of the Gala were:

* A dance performance by YLPers led by Ensemble Español & Muntu Dance

* Awards ceremony celebrating Betsy Carreno & Casey Nussbaum (Inspire Awards) Jaqueline Alvarez-Leanos (Alumni Award), Healthy Communities Foundation (Support Award), and Dave Terrazino (Guide Award)

* Live and Silent Auction, and Raffle


Paul M. Angell Foundation Awards Youth Crossroads $75,000 Grant

The Paul M. Angell Foundation has awarded YC a $75,000 grant to support comprehensive youth services, which includes counseling services, after-school enrichment, and youth leadership training programs. The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation supports organizations working to address the economic and health disparities impacting low-income communities of color. 

Water Donations Needed for Youth Leadership Program Service Trip to Flint and Detroit

Youth leadership students are collecting water donations for their service learning trip to Flint and Detroit Michigan in early June. The donations will go to the Catholic Charities Center to help the ongoing water crisis in Flint. Commercially packaged water (no loose bottles), commercially sealed gallon (or larger) containers of water can be dropped off at our building, 6501 Stanley Ave. by June 3.

The Helen Brach Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 grant to Youth Crossroads to support our comprehensive youth services.

This past spring break, middle school students in YCA, our after-school program, installed a mural at Heritage Middle School (6850 31st St, Berwyn). The mural was led by artist and gallery owner Vanessa Garza, who created workshops for students prior to the installation.