It is with great sadness that we share that Del Arsenault, former Executive Director of Chicago Youth Centers (CYC), passed away last week. He was CYC’s second executive director, serving in this role for more than two decades, from 1979 to 2000. His dedicated service provided structure, leadership, and vision to CYC as it expanded, grew, and prepared children to succeed in the 21st century.
Del dedicated his career to serving others, especially youth. Before assuming his role at CYC, he held leadership roles at YMCA organizations in Chicago and in Rochester, New York. Among his many accomplishments, Del strengthened CYC’s local advisory boards, prioritized hiring bilingual staff, and empowered Center directors to make decisions about how to best serve their communities.
Toward the end of his tenure, he focused on moving CYC into the 21st century. He said in 1999, “When I joined CYC there were no fax machines, no voice mail, no email, no personal computers, or mobile phones. Today, the staff is thinking through the process of getting kids ready to live in the 21st century. What will the youth agency of the 21st century look like, and how will it be funded?” This question was an utmost concern for Del, and he pursued its answer tirelessly as he worked with the Board of Directors to form a strategic plan for CYC’s 50th Anniversary.
“Del’s vision and ability to look forward and plan for CYC’s future has shaped our agency today,” said Barbara Mosacchio, CYC’s President and CEO. “We owe much to Del and his deep commitment to serving others.”