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Ayida* joined WOW her freshman year at James H. Bowen High School. For months she never spoke, never looked anyone in the eye and kept her head down. She continued to attend WOW group sessions. Then one day she complained about the style of her uniform shocking all assembled because everyone thought she couldn’t speak. Soon they would learn that she survived a devastating earthquake and the tsunami that followed, arriving to the United States in a small boat to begin a new life with her aunt and uncle. She had to leave her mother and other family behind. “She said WOW saved her life,” explained her WOW Counselor Doretha Brown. “She said the core values helped her make sense of the tragedy she witnessed and why she was chosen to survive. She had always felt she was not worthy and WOW helped her see her potential and her self-worth.”

After graduating from Bowen in the top ten, Ayida is a now a junior at Indiana Southern University, remains on the Dean’s List and recently became certified in three languages: French Spanish and English. She plans to graduate next year with a Bachelor’s in French. And often while on break, she visits Bowen’s WOW students to share her story with the hope of inspiring them to overcome their life challenges. She often explains that WOW literally saved her life and remembering the core values kept her in university driving her to achieve. To this day, she calls Doretha every week to share her struggle and joys, and journey of Working On Womanhood.

Experiences like this are all too common. Seven in ten young women in WOW have significant symptoms of PTSD, depression, and or anxiety. After a year in the program, two-thirds of these young women show significant improvement. Like Ayida, many of the youth in Chicago’s most under resourced communities continue to face obstacles that greatly affect their ability to find or continue a successful path. Through our Becoming a Man (BAM®) and Working on Womanhood (WOW®) programs, Youth Guidance supports our youth to help them thrive and allow them to see a path to a brighter future.

*Name change for confidentiality

The fastest way to give to Youth Guidance is to make a gift online or by phone:

312-253-4900 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST)

A check made payable to Youth Guidance may be submitted via mail. Please include a note telling us how to direct your gift.

Youth Guidance
ATTN: Development
1 North LaSalle Street, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60602

march - 5To continue to create a future for Chicago with less violence, healthier teens and job-ready graduates, we need your support. You can make a difference and help children in need reach their full potential by making a gift to Youth Guidance.  Friends of Youth Guidance, our Monthly Giving Program, makes giving easy! Simply visit our secure online form and select “Make this a monthly gift.”

Monthly giving can have a major impact right now and in the year ahead.  Your generous support ensures that our evidenced-based services reach as many youth, families and communities as possible.  Your gift will be debited by Youth Guidance, reliably and safely, on the 15th of each month. Bank or credit card statements will include a notation about the monthly gift and will serve as a receipt for tax purposes. In addition, you will receive an annual acknowledgment letter detailing your total contributions.

For more information or to make a donation via phone, please contact us at dev@youth-guidance.org or 312-253-4900.

EDHLogoYou can help support Youth Guidance’s programs and the children we serve by creating your own Peer-to-Peer fundraising page on Everyday Hero!

Questions? Please contact Elli Klein, Manager of Annual Giving, at eklein@youth-guidance.org or 312-994-8137.

amazon smile

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Youth Guidance every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Youth Guidance. Consider selecting us as your agency of choice and help support Chicago’s youth every time you shop!

P1070324Consider committing to a gala sponsorship to help support Chicago’s youth!  To learn more about the wonderful benefits associated with becoming a gala sponsor, Click Here

The best benefit of all, of course, is the long-term impact of your gift—brighter futures! With your help, more youth will graduate from high school, attend college, join the workforce, develop healthy relationships and steer clear of the justice system. Every gift has the power to change a life!

Questions? Please contact Lauren Pais, Special Events Coordinator, at lpais@youth-guidance.org or 312-994-8117.

P1050267School sponsorships can positively impact the reach, resources and overall efforts of public schools that serve youth in distressed communities. Youth Guidance offers BAM and WOW school sponsorships. Benefits to school sponsors include:

  • Participation in group sessions at the beginning and end of each school year.
  • The option to offer special opportunities for field trips/outings, job shadowing, mock interviews, youth employment and other opportunities with the sponsor organization.
  • Recognition in the Youth Guidance e-Newsletter, Annual Report, website and event program books.
  • An invitation to join the BAM or WOW Advisory Council—groups of civic leaders dedicated to the long-term sustainability of our counseling and prevention programs.

For school sponsorship information, please contact Rich Coplan, Director of Individual Giving, at 312-994-8103 or rcoplan@youth-guidance.org. 

Chavez, Reilly, Slemmons, ReillyCreate a deeper connection to Youth Guidance by hosting your own fundraising event! Perhaps your corporation is seeking to expand its philanthropic outreach.  Maybe you’re just looking for a great cause and ways to help others in need. You are welcome to organize and host your own event in support of Youth Guidance!  Our staff is committed to assisting you with everything you may need.

Hosting a fundraising event is a great experience.  Such events play a vital role in raising awareness and increasing our capacity to provide life-changing support to Chicago’s youth.

Getting Started:  Contact Lauren Pais, Special Events Coordinator, at lpais@youth-guidance.org with “Host a Fundraiser” in your subject line, letting us know what type of event you’re thinking about hosting. Be sure to include your contact information. We will reply within two business days to discuss your ideas and offer the support you need to make your event a success.

Financial Guidelines: 100% of net proceeds (event revenue minus expenses) from the third-party event must be donated to Youth Guidance. We’re happy to help you get started!

givingtreeConsider leaving a legacy of support by making a planned gift to Youth Guidance. Planned gifts allow you to combine your charitable giving goals with your estate and financial planning goals. Your gift will provide lasting benefits to Chicago’s youth for generations to come.

Planned gifts include:

  • Gifts of securities of stock that you’ve had for more than one year.
  • Charitable bequests to Youth Guidance through a will or living trust.
  • Naming Youth Guidance as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan.

These gifts help sustain Youth Guidance’s work and help donors create a permanent legacy. In addition, the value of a planned gift may also include tax benefits and possibly some return of income. Your lawyer, accountant or financial advisor can provide further information about the benefits of planned giving.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Clarkin,Chief Development Officer, at 312-994-8101 or rclarkin@youth-guidance.org.