Our Partners

We work closely with schools, parents, social service agencies, and community-based organizations to empower youth and their families. Below are just a few of the extraordinary partners who help us realize our mission.

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AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Y.O.U. is privileged to be an AmeriCorps placement site, and many of the staff members that work with our youth in summer and afterschool programs are AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Members. Because of AmeriCorps, Y.O.U. is able to maintain its 1:7 staff-to-student ratio that enables the close relationships and intentional learning we value.  Y.O.U. also works closely with another AmeriCorps program, Public Allies, who (through partnerships with community organizations including Y.O.U) engage Allies to connect across cultures, facilitate collaborative action, recognize and mobilize all of a community’s assets, continuously learn and improve, and be accountable to those they work with and those they serve.

"Y.O.U.'s partnership with Public Allies has been exceptional for both its length and the mutual trust our organizations have developed. Y.O.U. has hosted more than 10 Ally apprentices over the years and has hired a few of them to full time positions after their term of service completed. What has stood out most over the past few years has been Y.O.U.'s willingness to create something more than entry-level roles for young professionals and to give their Allies the space to grow and truly lead."

Justin Kreindler, Senior Program Manager for Public Allies Chicago

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago is the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network. Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 7 through 18. As a Y.O.U. partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago provides on-site mentoring to our youth, forming deep and impactful relationships that enable lifelong success.

“We are so proud of our partnership with Y.O.U. and the Evanston community. Our Site Based Mentoring Programs are successful when we work with strong youth service partners to identify children that are facing adversity. The support from the Y.O.U. team has been crucial in identifying youth that need a caring, trained and screened adult volunteer mentor in their life.”

Art Mollenhauer, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago    

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The City of Evanston, Illinois, is a vibrant community comprising many neighborhoods, races, religions, and levels of income. It is also home to Y.O.U.’s headquarters and many of its programs. As a Y.O.U. partner, the City of Evanston provides referrals for youth who need our services, free access to its beaches for our summer programs, and educational and learning opportunities through its Office of Sustainability.

"Y.O.U. is a valuable City partner and has made a substantial contribution to the City’s outreach to at-risk young people. Our relationship has been effective and we look forward to what lies ahead as the organization strengthens its capacity."

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, City of Evanston

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Evanston Cradle to Career is a collective impact initiative that brings together a diverse group of community stakeholders to improve outcomes for Evanston’s youth. Cradle to Career understands that the community possesses many valuable assets and that the most impact will be made if leaders and their institutions operate with a common agenda for change.  As part of our commitment to improve opportunities for Evanston’s youth and to support the success of this monumental initiative, Y.O.U. has several staff members serving on Cradle to Career’s operations team and solution design action teams, and Y.O.U. has played a leading role in the community engagement team.

“We are thrilled to have Y.O.U. as a vital partner in Evanston Cradle to Career—expanding our shared capacity to ensure all of Evanston’s young people are provided the opportunity to achieve their potential.”

Sheila Merry, Executive Director for Cradle to Career

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Evanston/Skokie School District 65 serves elementary and middle school students from Evanston and a part of Skokie. Y.O.U. partners with every Title I (high-need) school in the District, including Chute Middle School, Dawes Elementary School, King Arts School, Nichols Middle School, Oakton Elementary School, Walker Elementary School, and Washington Elementary School. Y.O.U. programs reside directly in the schools that they serve. In addition to generously providing all facilities for our programming and teacher and social work support, District 65 also partners with Y.O.U.’s Community Schools program as part of an effort to cement schools as hubs of community resources and empowerment.

"We are extremely grateful for everything Y.O.U. does to serve our students and their families. We cannot do our work alone and Y.O.U is a wonderful partner in service of children and families across Evanston and Skokie."

Paul Goren, Superintendent of District 65

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Evanston Township High School (ETHS) District 202 is a four-year (9-12), comprehensive high school that serves nearly 3,000 students. Embracing its diversity, ETHS dedicates itself to educating all students to their fullest potential. ETHS and Y.O.U. are partners in an after-school program that provides ETHS students with academic assistance, enrichment activities, and mentorship.

“Y.O.U. and ETHS have a long-standing partnership, proactively serving the youth in our community. Y.O.U. is making a positive and measureable difference for our students as we work hand-in-hand to achieve equity and excellence for all students,  creating more access and more opportunity for students in our community.”

Eric Witherspoon, Superintendent of ETHS District 202 

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Full Package Athletics is Illinois’ largest youth basketball training and travel team club, with programs designed to allow each player to reach his/her personal goals and contribute to their teams and communities. Full Package Athletics partners with Y.O.U. through EatPlayLearn, a summer program, designed by Full Package Athletics founder, Steve Pratt, and Northwestern University professor Rick Kolsky, that develops and exposes youth to out-of-the box and engaging learning through athletics, healthy living, and civic engagement. EatPlayLearn’s athletics programs are lead by Full Package, which manages the recruitment and training of all EatPlayLearn coaches.

"Over the past years, Y.O.U. has been an indispensable partner to Full Package for EatPlayLearn. Y.O.U. staff and leadership not only helped us recruit the campers, secure local facilities, and administer the program, but, more importantly provided invaluable guidance on how to work with, motivate, inspire, and develop these super-high-potential youths."

Rick Kolsky, EatPlayLearn cofounder

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The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is Northwestern University’s free art museum and is open to the public year-round. The Block Museum works with Y.O.U. to inspire youth as artists and create a space for critical conversations. Together, Y.O.U. and the Block Museum offer field trips for our youth, family engagement nights that bring our youth, parents, and staff together to share a meal and discussion, and deep collaborations that encourage youth leadership, such as exhibition-inspired community forums.

“As a dynamic, imaginative and innovative teaching and learning resource for Northwestern and it surrounding communities, the Block features a global exhibition program that crosses time periods and cultures and serves as a springboard for thought-provoking discussions relevant to our lives today. We are thrilled to welcome Y.O.U. students families and staff to our galleries and are inspired by their enthusiasm, curiosity and determination. We look forward to a perennial partnership that continues to afford learning opportunities for all.”

Lisa Corrin, the Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Block Museum of Art

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The McGaw YMCA is part of the nation’s leading nonprofit for strengthening communities through programs and services that nurture and enrich the lives of our youth, promote healthy living and embed the ideals of social responsibility. In collaboration with Y.O.U. and Northwestern University, the McGaw YMCA is the leader and host of MetaMedia, an innovative space where youth can engage directly with technology, engineering, arts, and more. Alongside MetaMedia, Y.O.U. is working with the McGaw YMCA on a myriad of community initiatives aimed at collective impact.

"At the McGaw YMCA, we cherish the stellar work of the staff and Board of Y.O.U. In consultation with the McGaw YMCA, Northwestern University, School Districts 65 and 202 and the many local youth organizations, this Evanston is witnessing collective impact and educational enthusiasm at its best.”

Mark A. Dennis, Jr., President and CEO of the McGaw YMCA

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Northwestern University is one of the nation’s premier research universities, dedicated to providing students and faculty with exceptional opportunities. The faculty and students at Northwestern have been incredible partners with Y.O.U., supporting our youth in every way. In an average year, more than 100 Northwestern students work with us as youth counselors, volunteers, mentors, workshop leaders, and more. Meanwhile, more than a dozen faculty members annually share their expertise with our youth and staff, and teach innovative curriculums so that our youth receive world-class educational opportunities.  One example of this is Science in Society, an office at Northwestern dedicated to science outreach and public engagement, that has piloted its Science Club, an after-school mentoring program designed to engage students in science through fun, hands-on activities, at Y.O.U. sites. Additionally, throughout the summer, the Northwestern Athletics Department provides camp scholarships to dozens of Y.O.U. youth, giving them the opportunity to learn from some of the area’s finest student athletes and coaches.

“Northwestern is proud to be in partnership with Y.O.U. in the journey to support youth in our community. Opportunities for our young people to develop skills and talents for the future is meaningful work and Y.O.U is doing exactly that work.”

Nim Chinniah, Executive Vice President at Northwestern University

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Skokie/Morton Grove School District 69 is home to Y.O.U. sites Edison Elementary School and Lincoln Jr. High School. District 69 offers Y.O.U. dedicated space for its programs and offices, teacher support, and social work connections. District 69 also partners with our Community Schools program to provide an array of services and resources to families. The District recently completed a renovation of their office space and developed a special dedicated community room to support a joint parent leadership initiative.

"Y.O.U. has been an amazing addition to the District 69 community. In a short amount of time they have established themselves as an integral part of our schools - supporting our students and their families in many more ways than we were able to alone. Together we are able to leverage our school resources and the many connections through Y.O.U. to ensure that all of our children are well-cared for and provided with many opportunities that will allow them to achieve whatever they desire."

Margaret Clauson, Superintendent of District 69

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The United Way of Metropolitan Chicago Impact Fund, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is committed to helping at risk children and youth in metropolitan Chicago reach their full potential and learn, grow and succeed.  The objectives of our Child and Youth Education issue area are to support children and youth in grades K-12 achieve academic success, complete high school, and enter post-secondary education/vocation programs.

"United Way values its partnership with Y.O.U. The program embodies our mission in action - ensuring that middle school youth enter high school on track to graduate. Y.O.U.'s programs should be replicated in every community to equip the next generation with the tools they need to succeed."

Marcia McMahon, Regional Chief Professional Officer of United Way North-Northwest

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The Village of Skokie, Illinois is a dynamic, multicultural community immediately northwest of Chicago. Y.O.U. has partnered with the Village Human Services Department, Human Relations Commission, and Public Safety Commission to leverage a variety of resources and opportunities. Y.O.U. youth have conducted service learning projects in conjunction with the Human Services Department. Our Community Schools initiative partnered with the Human Relations commission's Block Party program to support our Parent Leadership group PLUS to facilitate a community event.

"Together, the Village of Skokie and Y.O.U. continue to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable residents as well as work with children and parents around civic engagement. The Village looks forward to continued and increased collaboration with Y.O.U. to enrich the lives of Skokie school children, their families, and our community."

George Van Dusen, Mayor of the Village of Skokie

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YWCA Evanston/North Shore, is a social justice organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. YWCA Evanston/North Shore operates the only comprehensive domestic violence service program in northeastern Cook County, including a relationship violence prevention curriculum in many community schools. Y.O.U. and the YWCA co-lead Allied Against Violence, a program in which teenage males become spokespeople for preventing violence against women. After intensive training, participants implement public awareness campaigns around healthy relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

We are very excited to partner with Y.O.U. Violence against women continues to be a pervasive problem affecting all our communities. If we are going to turn it around, we must engage boys and men in the conversation and work side by side to end it. This partnership is our opportunity to work towards that goal!”

Julie McBratney, Communications Director of Evanston YWCA


Thank you to all of our partners that help provide the impactful programming reaching more than 1,500 Y.O.U. youth each year! Learn more about each one below:

Center for Independent Futures

Common Threads

Curt's Cafe

Evanston Art Center

Evanston Public Library

Evanston Scholars

For Youth Inquiry

Foundation Uniting Neighbors of District 69

Grace Lutheran Church

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

Illinois Collaboration on Youth

Mudlark Theater

Northlight Theatre

Open Studio Project

Response Center

School District 219

Skokie Public Library

The Talking Farm

Tiz Media Foundation

Young Chicago Authors

Youth Job Center