Since 2008 YC has engaged over 1,800 local at-risk high school age teens in more than 125,000 hours of leadership development and volunteer community service activities. Disadvantaged high-school teens from Berwyn and Cicero are recruited, interviewed and selected by YC staff and veteran teen leaders and spend the next 3-month period engaged in extensive leadership training focused on self-awareness, community issues, teamwork, and project planning. Nearly 11,000 local children, teens and community residents have benefitted from 150 service projects organized and presented by these teen leaders.
Provides youth with the skills, knowledge, and empowerment to serve their local community and beyond:
· Weekly volunteer opportunities
· Monthly support for community food pantries
· Public speaking opportunities
· Mural installations
· Youth leaders help develop community service, recreation, and leadership training opportunities
COLLEGE READINESS PROGRAM
ISAC workshops on completing college applications, FAFSA, college savings, scholarships, resume building, local and overnight college visits
JOB READINESS PROGRAM
Workshops on resume writing, job search, interview skills, career develop, and job training
Workshops on addressing anxiety and depression
RECREATION AND OVERNIGHT CAMPING
Field trips to locations to enrich youth experiences such as the Illinois State Fair, the Indiana Dunes, Sky Zone, bowling and an annual service trip
YC offers high school students mentorship training to help them serve as a positive role model in their community. Mentors help elementary and middle school students develop life skills to make successful transitions to the next stages of their lives, support social and emotional learning, provide help with schoolwork, and help build new pathways to achieve success in school, at home, and in life
Responding to food insecurity is a centerpiece of our youth development programs. Our curriculum teaches students about sustainable practices, locally sourced food production, and healthy cooking and eating. A student-run organization is being created to give students the responsibility to coordinate, manage, and promote our regular food distribution events. This includes arranging deliveries from food depositories and keeping inventory of perishable and non-perishable items. Students will also be responsible for promoting events with nutritionists and local chefs to teach healthy cooking and eating in the community.