Y.O.U.’s 40th anniversary year brought exciting achievements and significant challenges in the midst of an important transition. This annual report for FY2011 (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011) tells the powerful story of our continuing work to meet the growing needs of youth and families in our community in a difficult time.
In 2011, Y.O.U. provided services to 35% more young people, growing from 450 youth served in 2010 to 607 in 2011. We also offered young people and their families more comprehensive services thanks to the significant expansion of our mentoring and clinical counseling programs. This dramatic growth responded to the critical, growing need in our community. The recession pushed hundreds of Evanston families further into poverty, dramatically increasing the need for our services. The unwavering support of our donors and volunteers allowed us to stretch to meet the need.
Too many headlines in the year highlighted the economic and political turmoil in Washington and in Springfield. Governmental support for social services -- including at Y.O.U. -- were cut and payment checks were many months overdue. Yet with the strong leadership of our Board, prudent spending by our staff, and the heartwarming generosity of private donors, we were able to meet the challenge and maintain a strong programmatic and financial footing.
Finally, 2011 brought the retirement of Y.O.U.’s founder after 40 years of service, six months of an intense, nationwide search, and the hiring of a new executive director. The two of us join hands in celebration of all that Y.O.U. has accomplished during its first 40 years and all of the promise for decades to come.
We have great hope for the future, as we know that our efforts are working. In a community struggling with an achievement gap between low- and upper-income students, 93% of our students come from low-income homes and, by middle school, they are outperforming the average student in Illinois on standardized tests. Our youth have also demonstrated dramatic gains in social and emotional development (see “Our Impact” on page 3). As we celebrate our 40th anniversary and our accomplishments in 2011, we want to thank all of the partners who make our work possible - we couldn’t do it without YOU!
Seth Green, Executive Director
Donald A. Baker, Founder and Director Emeritus