Our Mission

Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) invests in youth in underserved communities in Chicago to help them discover and realize their full potential.

Caring for Our Communities

For 57 years, CYC has steadfastly served communities on the south and west sides of Chicago. Today CYC centers are in seven communities across metro Chicago. We consistently deliver programming to serve the needs of kids, parents and communities—focusing on academic achievement, social and emotional skill development and parent/family engagement. Our centers are characterized by passionate and committed staff and serve as learning centers for our kids, community resources, and safe spaces.

Our Programs

Early Childhood Education - (ages 3-5) 900+ children served annually
School-Age Child Development - (ages 6-12) 1,200+ served annually
Teen Leadership Development & Intervention - (ages 13-19) 570+ served annually
Intervention – (ages 7-18) 637+ served annually
Camp Rosenthal - (ages 7-15) 390+ served annually

Your Dollars at Work

We are careful stewards of the dollars you invest in our work. We are very proud that more than 85% of every dollar raised goes directly to support of our programs.


  • Believe in Kids Dinner

    About the Believe in KidsDinner

    The theme for this year’s Believe in Kids Dinner is Empowering Generations. The Honorary Chairs are Prue and Frank Beidler and Jay Beidler and his wife Deborah Witzburg. The Beidler Family represents two generations of one family dedicated to Chicago Youth Centers (CYC), and service to this community. Our dinner is the centerpiece of CYC’s fundraising events.

    Held on Wednesday, April 23rd in the ballroom of the Standard Club, the evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception and the program and dinner at 7:00 p.m. This year’s program will feature Wes Moore as the keynote speaker. Mr. Moore is the critically acclaimed author of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. For more information about the dinner or to become a sponsor, please contact Vakarie Christian,Vakarie.christian@chicagoyouthcenters.org, or 312-913-1700 Ext. 424 If you cannot attend the event but would like to show your support, click here to make a donation to CYC.

    The event features a Silent Auction. The auction will include vacations, sporting packages and more. It will also feature a unique opportunity to directly support our Program Wish List that includes: sending kids to camp, providing program supplies and helping to support the greatest needs of our kids and centers.

    About Our Speaker

    Wes Moore is an American success story and a born leader—but he wasn't always on the path to achievement. Raised in a single-parent household in Baltimore with his sisters, Moore was drawn toward trouble as a child, enough so that his mother eventually enrolled him in a Pennsylvania military school. This single, determined choice effectively changed the course of her son's life.
    Click here for a preview of Mr. Moore speaking.

    About your Investment in CYC

    Support for the Believe in Kids dinner will have a meaningful impact on programs at our seven community centers and Camp Rosenthal in Dowagiac, MI. More than 85% of every dollar raised at the dinner directly benefits our kids, families and communities.

    About Chicago Youth Centers

    Our Mission: Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) invests in youth in underserved communities in Chicago to help them discover and realize their full potential.
    Our Vision: CYC helps develop successful kids in Chicago’s underserved communities by helping them break out of the generational cycles of poverty and violence.
    Our Pillars: Our strategic pillars are founded on the core principals of surrounding kids with the social capital they need to be successful—safe spaces, family engagement and community engagementand providing them with the skills they need to be successful—knowledge, access, involvement, choices.
    1. Match our programming to the true needs of our kids and communities
    2. Provide a coordinated continuum of support and programming.
    3. Build 21st Century life and learning skills
    4. Engage and train parents to support their transitions at critical social/emotional and academic transitions
    5. Continuously measure and improve our outcomes
    Our Values: To be Fiscally Sound, Maintain the Highest Standard of Ethics, Chicago Centric, Prevention Focused and Develop effective and meaningful Partnerships & Collaborations.

    About the Audience

    Approximately 400 corporate, civic and community leaders attend this event annually.

    Feb 20, 2014 Ξ


Spirit of Youth Award Winner—Edward Wiertel, Jr.

CYC announces its 2014 Spirit of Youth Award winner, CYC’s 2010-12 Board chair, Ed Wiertel. Ed has been a CYC board member for 10 years, and served in various leadership roles on the Board of Directors. He is passionately committed and his leadership embodies CYC’s mission, vision, pillars and values. The Spirit of Youth Award is CYC’s highest honor; and is awarded annually to acknowledge those who have demonstrated a commitment to the children of CYC and the greater Chicago community.

Mar 21, 2014 Ξ

Media Release

Recent Post

CYC Announces Sid & Sondra Epstein Believe In Kids Scholarship Recipient

CYC Announces Sid & Sondra Epstein Believe In Kids Scholarship Recipient

The Sid & Sondra Epstein Believe in Kids Scholarship Award was established in 2013 to promote student success and to help them achieve their dreams.  CYC is honored to present  Full Article »

Apr 14, 2014 Ξ

Featured Sponsor

Believe in Kids Dinner Sponsors

Believe In Kids Annual Dinner
CYC gratefully acknowledges and thanks our 2014 Believe in Kids Dinner Sponsors

Frank & Prue Beidler Career Builder Sid & Sondra Epstein Polk Bros Foundation The Shores /Lyons Family

Abbott Chicago Tribune The Crown Family Philanthropies Patrick & Cory DeLacey Ernst & Young (EY) Fortune Brands Home & Securities/Edward Wiertel, Jr. ITW Northern Trust Company PricewaterhouseCoopers RR Donnelley Raymond James & Associates

Dixie Adams Altair Advisors Baxter International Bryan Cave Jay Beidler & Deborah Witzburg BMO Harris Bank Beth & John Corvino Charles and Barbara Denison Eugene DeRamus & Patricia Crumley The Donnelley Foundation Iris & Martin Gradman Hub International William & Heather Kelley Judy Macior Meckler, Bulger Tilson, Marick & Pearson LLP Miller Shakman & Beem LLP Morgan Stanley Perkins Coie LLP Raymond Rusnak John Sivright TCF Foundation William Blair Winston & Strawn LLP Wintrust Commercial Banking

Elizabeth Arden/Red Door Spa Bandon Dunes Golf Resort/Michael Keiser Bebeka/Linda Hillman & John Hillman Behavioral Staffing/Maria Calvetti CareerBuilder/Brian Donahue Chicago Public Media –WBEZ Chicago Tribune Chicago White Sox/John Corvino ComedySportz Theatre Dimensions in Health/Carol Wagner Daniel Romano DMK Restaurants/Lindsey Becker Encompass ProAm Golf Resort Exhale Orbitz/Jeffrey Marsh P3Media Works Cheryl Pacyna Pastoral Artisan Rivers Casino/Kate McMahon Richard Sepak Shedd Aquarium/Rick Erwin & Dixie Adams The Standard Club The Wooden Spoon/Trina & Sean Sheridan

Media Release

Mar 21, 2014 Ξ