I hope that you had a wonderful summer! Here at Youth Guidance, the summer months were exciting and transformative for the youth we serve: from community parades and family picnics to workforce development projects and summer jobs for youth, we kept busy – and had a great time in the process! For example, our Extended Day and Enrichment Summer Programs served over 450 students this summer at six Chicago Public School (CPS) locations. Students’ days included fun and engaging activities ranging from coding camp, where students learned to code like a pro to Spanish language intensive activities focused on world cultures! Now, as we kick off 2015-2016, we eagerly anticipate another successful and rewarding school year.
2016 will be our 91st year of service to Chicago’s youth, and we are marking our growth with renewed enthusiasm and energy. The Becoming a Man (BAM) program, for example, is expanding from 40 CPS sites to 48 and will serve roughly 2500 young men – a 25% increase over last year! Across all programs, we will serve more schools (over 80!) than ever before, with the most dedicated professionals we have ever had. Change this great deserves looking ahead with fresh eyes, and we recently unveiled a brand new visual identity. Our bold new agency look is meant to reflect the energy of our youth as well as highlight our role as “guides” on their journey.
Our school-based programs help guide young people through their education, and set them on the path toward a healthy and successful life. We meet kids where they are — physically and emotionally — and our highly trained staff provides counseling, mentoring, support, and life-skills to the students who need it most, helping them transform their lives. We are steadfastly committed to helping youth remove educational and life obstacles and create a foundation for a lifetime of opportunity and success.
Make no mistake, those hard-fought successes, most importantly reaching more youth in need of support and guidance, are only possible because of generous supporters – like you – who have helped pave the way for our progress.
As we enter a new academic year, I am reminded of what an honor it is to have such a knowledgeable board, dedicated staff, engaged school officials, and a committed group of parents and community leaders who believe in our vision. Thank you for all that you do. Together, we are making a difference for young people in Chicago by fostering their awesome potential. Together, we safeguard their future success, and I know that together, we will have a tremendous impact in the year ahead.
With hope for all our children,
Michelle A Morrison