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Newsletter – October 2022

Youth Crossroads Rents Office Space in Cicero

Youth Crossroads has significantly increased its presence in Cicero by renting a new space at 5533 S. 25th Street. The space will house the Cicero Community Collaborative and AOK (All Our Kids) Cicero Network (Youth Crossroads serves as the fiscal agent for both organizations). The space will also house YC’s Workforce Development Program. “Having a physical presence in Cicero will make it possible for us to have a greater impact on Cicero youth and families,” said Elida “Eli” Ortiz, CCC’s new director. “It’s important for the Cicero community to know who we are and see what services we provide. The new space also makes it possible to build our capacity for our food pantries,” Eli said.

YC’s New Workforce Development Program Helps Teens and young Adults Get Jobs and Build Careers

This past month, Youth Crossroads launched its first workforce development program to help 16 to 24-year-olds in our community build the skills and experience they need to get good-paying jobs and build meaningful careers. The program offers introductory training for teens and young adults interested in careers in Community Health, Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems, Entrepreneurship, and Arts Education. For additional information, contact Arafat at

YC Launches After-School Program at Lincoln Middle School

Youth Crossroads is now offering it’s after-school program Youth.Connections.Academics at Lincoln Middle School in Berwyn. The program offers 6th to 8th graders with the social-emotional, relational, and academic support they need by building connections to each other, high school mentors, trustworthy adults and their community.

YC Brings Group Counseling to Heritage Middle School

In October, Youth Crossroads began offering group counseling to 7th and 8th graders at Heritage Middle School in Berwyn. The students will have an opportunity to speak about the obstacles and difficulties faced in school, at home, and in the community. Topics include setting appropriate boundaries and respecting similarities and differences when students come from a variety of backgrounds.

Berwyn Police Department Offers Workshop on Gun Violence Safety

Youth Crossroads’ YCA and YLP after-school programs recently partnered with the Berwyn Police Department to offer workshops on gun violence and safety to middle school and high school students. Officer Juan Macias offered statistics on gun violence, discussed how gun violence impacts youth, and explored strategies for steering clear of guns.

CCC Offers Parent/Mentor Program and Workshops on Financial Literacy

The Cicero Community Collaborative recently launched a series of workshops for Cicero 4th and 5th graders to teach elementary students about financial literacy and money management. The workshops, which take place at Inner City Impact, are being led by the CCC’s parent ambassadors to help give students more control of their future.

April Valenzuela Joins YC Counseling Staff

Youth Crossroads is pleased to welcome April Valenzuela to our counseling team. April will be a full-time counselor at Lincoln Middle School.

Vanessa Cervantes is New Human Resources/Administrative Assistant

Vanessa grew up in Berwyn and is a graduate of Morton West High School, where she was part of YC’s YLP program. She recently taught in the Houston Public School System.