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  • Youth Crossroads Outdoor Youth Sanctuary Space Awarded BDC Philanthropic Grant

    A BDC philanthropic grant was awarded to Youth Crossroads, Inc. (YC) for their Outdoor Youth Sanctuary space. This space provides a new attractive, private, functional environment to serve youth and families more effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future. The space will be a respite for youth, and a safe place where they can meet with counselors, mentors, with peers to socialize, have fun and feel "at home" while at YC. The sanctuary is complete with a youth-led mural installation in partnership with the Berwyn Public Art Initiative that was designed and spearheaded by artist Sergio Farfán. In addition to the mural, the patio space will feature the YC logo on a new wooden fence/gate facing the high-traffic Stanley Avenue and a bike rack to encourage youth to be active and access the facility and services. A ribbon cutting to celebrate the unveiling of the YC Outdoor Youth Sanctuary was held on April 15, 2021. A Berwyn Development Corporation philanthropic grant check was presented during the ceremony.
    The YC Outdoor Youth Sanctuary helps meet the short-term goal of increasing access to the YC building and its services. Long-range objectives of Youth Crossroads include the capacity to be the leader in positive youth development and local support services. The agency empowers young people to have a collective voice in community affairs, be positive change agents, and develop skills and attitudes that help them move productively towards maturity in this challenging world.
    Joel Wallen, Youth Development Programs Director said, “This space will empower our youth to collaborate and strengthen their leadership skills that will in turn serve our community well.”
    Andy Sotiropoulos, Board President of the Berwyn Development Corporation went on to say, “Supporting organizations like Youth Crossroads is a great investment in the future of our community.”
    Youth Crossroads, Inc. is a non-profit community-based organization whose mission is to act in the best interest of youth, guiding them through life’s challenges and inspiring them to discover new opportunities for personal development, healthy relationships, and positive community involvement. The agency serves over 2,000 youth each year from the communities of Berwyn, Cicero, Stickney, Lyons, and Forest View. YC employs 17 staff (12 full-time, 5 part-time) and utilizes 25-30 college interns annually (bachelor's and
    master's level) in the delivery of crisis intervention for runaway youth, school-based counseling, and support services at 4 local schools, after-school academic enrichment programs, and the
    youth leadership program.
    For more information on Youth Crossroads, Inc. please call (708) 484-7400 or visit youthcrossroads.org.
    About the BDC Philanthropic Program
    The Berwyn Development Corporation provides charitable contributions to causes within the Berwyn community. The BDC makes awards to local not-for-profit public charities, giving priority to those efforts that positively impact economic vitality, provide services directly to beneficiaries, address root problems and serve disenfranchised groups.
    Berwyn headquartered not-for-profits will be asked to submit a grant proposal for consideration before completing the full application. Proposals should include a summary of the project, event or program, the requested grant amount and how it will impact the Berwyn community. Grants will be awarded within the month after each round of submissions is closed based upon available BDC funding. For more details regarding the philanthropic program, call the BDC at (708) 788-8100 or visit Berwyn.net.

    Special thanks to our BDC Trustees that help make these grants possible: Byline Bank, Kopicki Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, MacNeal Hospital, Morton College, Paisans Pizzeria & Bar, Republic Bank of Chicago, Turano Baking Company, World’s Largest Laundromat and Zeigler Pre-Owned of Chicago.