Youth & Opportunity United

Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) has been bringing it’s particular brand of magic to the Evanston community since 1974.

Having served more than 15,000 youth in the past 40 years, their success is undeniable.

Y.O.U. provides academic assistance; life-skills education; social-skills development; recreational, athletic and artistic activities; parental support; crisis intervention; mentoring; case management  and all forms of counseling for youth and their families in order to support healthy relationships between families, peers and the community.

They help youth in all areas of their lives in order to create a positive, healthy and productive environment in which to grow. They offer after-school programs, parental engagement activities, mentorship programs, and crisis and clinical counseling that includes 24-hour emergency housing to help youths navigate tough times. Over the past 40 years, their services have helped more than 15,000 kids, teens and young adults.

More than 71 percent of participants increased their grade point average after utilizing Y.O.U.’s after-school programs and individual tutoring. A whopping 95 percent of youth enhanced their coping and resilience skills, and 91 percent improved their social competence, based on the nationally recognized clinical evaluation tool Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument, after taking advantage of Y.O.U.’s clinical counseling services.

The vast majority of youth also reported an improvement in their relationships with their family after they utilized Y.O.U.’s parental engagement programs that help foster healthy and productive relationships between parent and child. The after-school program’s emphasis on coping with social challenges and comprehending the role of youth in the community is clearly a compelling factor in their success.

By helping youth, Y.O.U. is bettering the community. As executive director Seth Green says, “What we believe at our core is that when kids feel supported and loved, when they have caring adults in their life, and when they are connected to the wealth of opportunities in their community, they have truly unlimited potential.”

To help kids feel this potential and implement change, Y.O.U. utilizes programs such as Second Step, a rigorously tested violence-prevention curriculum for middle and high school youth. Along with preventing violence, they are focused on preventing bullying through the nationally recognized Get Connected program, all while promoting a healthy, substance-free lifestyle using the acclaimed Life Skills Training model.

At Y.O.U, all is interconnected and vital to fostering a new generation of involved, healthy and intelligent youth.

Youth & Opportunity United By The Numbers:

  • 18,000 youth served in Evanston during the past 43 years
  • 69 percent of youth increased their grade point average (GPA).
  • 90 percent of youth reported an improvement in their relationships with their family.

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