Youth Crossroads Inc. thrives on partnerships. A great example of this is the recent collaboration between our Youth Leadership Program (YLP) and Hope Houses Workshop here in Berwyn.
Development of a new line of vintage wooden toys sparked an idea– why not invite the YLP teens to build toys for the Head Start children of Hephzibah Children’s Association of Oak Park. “The workshop exists to grow imaginations, connect people and promote a Family is Key belief; these three organizations working together is magical and heartwarming”, says Steve Lefko, founder and owner of Hope Houses Workshop.
Teens built 60 toys at the workshop over three evenings and learned about wood working and craftsmanship. Toys included a Jacobs Ladder, Tops, Rubber Band Cars and Trapeze Clown, each with a handwritten and encouraging note for each recipient. Then we took the toys to children in the Head Start Program. It was like Santa Claus in Summer! The children watched a demonstration of each toy and then selected the one they wanted. Huge smiles all around. The adults had as much fun as the kids!
ANNUAL AWARDS GALA IV
A great time was had by all! We’re grateful to our sponsors and guests for a successful evening! Congratulations to our award winners:
Special thanks to our Sponsors!
Brookfield Financial Plans, Inc., BT Friends of YC, Byline Bank, Republic Bank, B2B Marketing Group, Town of Cicero, MacNeal Hospital, BMO Harris, Dominguez Law Firm, Culver’s, Brinks Gilson & Lione, Berwyn Development Corp, Supermercado La Villita, Karovd Riding Stable, FNBC Bank & Trust, Berwyn Park District, North Berwyn Park District, Gone Travl’n Inc., Acosta Law Group
VIDEO SHOWS HARDSHIPS CREATED BY STATE BUDGET IMPASSE
Illinois has not passed a real budget in over two years, the first state to do so since the Great Depression. The ongoing fight over the budget between Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly has been covered widely, but what do the effects of this lingering crisis look like in people’s day-to-day lives? This new video series—a collaboration between In These Times and Kartemquin Films—follows the families, workers and students living through the de facto budget cuts, showing the ways it deteriorates the fabric of Illinois communities.
Youth Crossroads is one of those agencies affected by the state budget impasse.
TAKE 1 — ACTION!
Social Media Team Creates Film Documentary
After a year of planning, conducting surveys, interviewing, filming, and editing, the Youth Leadership Program Social Media Project crew proudly premiered its first documentary film entitled “Finding Our Way, The Struggle with Anxiety and Depression in Urban Youth” on August 26, 2016, at Liberty Center in Berwyn.
Realizing the effects of being bombarded by social media messages, TV, peers, family, and school pressures, the team decided to delve into the issues of teen depression and anxiety which plague so many teenagers today. They surveyed their peers, interviewed fellow students and professional adults familiar with these issues and their impact on teenagers’ lives. The team plans to present the film to other teen groups and middle schoolers throughout the school year.
Teen Leaders Transform Berwyn’s 8th Ward Fire Hydrants
Berwyn’s 8th Ward Alderman Nora Laureto conducted a unique beautification project along the Roosevelt Road business corridor this past week involving 25 teen volunteers from Youth Crossroads and resident adult artists from the Berwyn Arts & Music (BAM) organization. About ten fire hydrants along Roosevelt Road between Wenonah and East Avenues were transformed with paint by the teens into dragons, bubblegum machines, music sheets, and other creative themes under the watchful eye of local artists.
With all paint and supplies donated by Alderman Laureto, approval from the Berwyn Fire Department, and cooperation from Berwyn’s Public Works Department, the volunteers spent most of Saturday, October 17, creating the masterpieces. Alderman Laureto expressed her satisfaction with the project,
“This wonderful group of volunteer teens did an amazing job brightening up Roosevelt Road. It’s great to see local young people get involved in their community, and they should be proud of their contribution to this city.”
Alderman Nora Laureto, Sofia Zabawa, Lupe Blanco, and Rosie Diaz complete work on their gumball machine hydrant. Dragon: Alejandra Herrera puts the finishing touches on her team’s dragon hydrant. Dalmation: Stephanie Barajas and Daniella Ortega show off this dog-ready hydrant with their clever design. Clouds: Michelle Mora, Melissa Bobadilla. Pizza: Max Ramos. Mario Brother: Juan Valdez. Music & Pink Base Coat: Issac Saucedo and Janie Dam. Dragon: Alejandra Herrera and Bernice Pina.