Youth Guidance (YG) creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and life. YG is supported by Episcopal Charities and has a 90 year history of serving many of Chicago’s most disadvantaged areas. Youth Guidance also prides itself on ‘cultural competency’ and believes that staff diversity is one of its biggest strengths.
How can you help:
1) B.A.M. – Becoming A Man/W.O.W. – Working on Womanhood:
These are drop-out and violence prevention programs for at-risk students in grades 7 – 12. B.A.M offers in-school programming to develop social-cognitive skills strongly correlated with reductions in violent and anti-social behavior. Participants learn about and practice impulse control, emotional self-regulation, raising aspirations for the future and developing a sense of personal responsibility and integrity. Our participation is as Career Awareness Presenters. There is a comparable program for girls called W.O.W (Working on Womanhood) in which we also participate as Career Awareness Presenters.
Date: Scheduled individually. Takes place in a Chicago Public School selected by Youth Guidance Sessions are one hour in length and occur during a regular school day. Preparation required.
Contact Robin Anstaett if interested in participating.
2) CROSSwalk to Work:
The Diocese of Chicago is actively seeking jobs, mentors and financial support for its CROSSwalk to Work program. This program seeks to connect young people, ages 16 to 19, to full and part-time summer jobs for 8 to 10 weeks. The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is partnering with Youth Guidance to identify ‘job ready’ youth looking for summer work. These young people are a part of YG’s Youth Workforce Development program and are eager to learn and gain work experience. The jobs needed are appropriate for interns or lower-skilled, entry-level people. YG provides support for the youth during the summer. Employing youth from areas of concentrated poverty is an investment in them and in the healing of our communities. Jobs can create a sense of pride and a hope for the future for youth living in communities who experience frequent gun violence.
There are two main ways to participate in CROSSwalk:
Offer a job, either full-time or part-time for Summer 2015, and take the opportunity to mentor a young person and help them gain work experience.
Fund a job for $3500 per full-time job. This figure is based on a 40-hour work week for 8 – 10 weeks at $10/hour and covers both wages and transportation.
Learn more by watching the video invitation from CROSSwalk to Work mentor Anne Driscoll. Video Link
Contact Robin Anstaett if interested in participating.
Although Youth Guidance has a headquarters located in the Chicago loop, they operate with a ‘school-based service delivery’ method. They are experts at school-based support with on-the-ground counselors in dozens of Chicago Public Schools serving more than 14,000 city youth. Being present within the schools allows Youth Guidance to remove barriers to students’ access to services, provide services within natural settings and incur fewer bricks and mortar expenses as an agency, making their services ‘nimble and lean’.
For more information, please contact Christ Church member Robin Anstaett at 847-644-2268 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit Youth Guidance’s website at www.youth-guidance.org .
Youth Guidance is supported by Episcopal Charities and a Christ Church Benevolence recipient. Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. program was developed in 2001 at Clemente High School. President Obama participated in a B.A.M. session at Hyde Park High School in 2013 at the invitation of Mayor Emmanuel who was working to decrease violence in the city. Obama was inspired by what he saw and heard and has given national attention to YG’s BAM program.
Christ Church Experiences:
B.A.M./W.O.W.: Parishioners Tom Tubekis and Don Lloyd-Jones participated in a BAM session as Career Awareness Presenters at Frederick Douglas Academy last May. It was a rewarding and eye-opening experience to have a conversation with 20 young men about how their individual interests could lead them to a future job or career. Sharing their own stories, Tom and Don were able to create an awareness for opportunities that were previously unfamiliar. The young men were thoughtful, respectful and curious. They asked excellent questions and seemed genuinely interested in what Tom and Don had to offer.
In March 2015, our first WOW team visited Rosario Castellanos Middle School. Parishioners Tika Walsh (Registered Nurse) and Carolyn Tubekis (Advertising Company Art Director) shared their career stories with 13 young Latina women. In April, this WOW team did a second presentation to 7 young African-American women at Chicago Vocational Career Academy (CVCA). Confidence, self-esteem and the value of being a ‘smart’ girl were among the common topics discussed.
Tika said “it was a lot of fun and so rewarding when you feel like you’re making a difference for even one girl”. Carolyn “hopes that we’re inspiring girls to truly value their talents and passions”. She also said “I didn’t know my current job existed when I was their age, so I hope this exposure to various careers excites them and helps them visualize a professional future”.
Also in April, a second BAM team consisting of parishioners Brian Flood (Air Force Fighter Pilot and Commercial Pilot) and Tom Tubekis (Small Home Repair Business Owner) visited Bogan High School. They presented their career paths to 18 young African-American and Latino men. Conflict management and earnings potential were among the topics discussed.
Tom responded “I found the boys to be very engaging and curious as to what career options we presented to them. I can only hope that they make good life decisions moving forward”. Brian noted that Youth Guidance is providing “good counselors to help their students make good choices”.
CROSSwalk to Work: Parishioner Anne Driscoll and her employer, an executive search firm, participated in the CrossWalk to Work program by having a YG selected high school student work part-time in her loop office during the summer of 2014. Anne and her partners supported and guided their intern, Michael, throughout the summer, exposing him to the business world, teaching him appropriate conduct in a professional setting and learning about Michael’s life in the tough neighborhoods of Chicago. Anne said, “I wanted to do something that would make a difference in someone’s life and it turned out that (this experience) made a significant difference in my life”. Although more difficult and challenging than Anne had ever imagined, she felt that it was worth the effort and would recommend that others consider participating. Youth Guidance is the “backbone” of the program for students and employees. They are culturally sensitive and work as a liaison to bridge the needs of everyone involved.