#GivingTuesday Success!

Many thanks to everyone who supported YJC on Giving Tuesday. Because of YOUR generosity we were able to raise 100% of our goal, raising more than $10,000 for young people who are on a path towards the future they want!

If you were unable to participate in #GivingTuesday, but are still interested in supporting Youth Job Center, it is never too late. Help us support youth and young adults in their pursuit of economic success and make dream jobs a reality for all!


Youth Job Center Receives Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award

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Youth Job Center (YJC) is one of two recipients of Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® grant, awarded for their work in providing job-readiness training and support to youth in the Chicagoland area. YJC’s programs contribute to Bank of America’s goal of developing pathways to economic mobility. Neighborhood Builders® (#NeighborhoodBuilders) will provide Youth Job Center with $200,000 in flexible funding, as well leadership development support and connections to peer organizations across the U.S. over the coming year.

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YJC will use the funds awarded to support the continued development and implementation of its postsecondary planning curriculum and tools for high school students across the region. YJC will also share its program components with other agencies to allow nonprofit partners, counselors and teachers to help youth explore the extent of postsecondary paths available to them. YJC will develop training support to ensure consistent, quality implementation of the curriculum in other agencies. The funds will also further the professional development training of its leadership team and staff who have supervisory responsibilities, including Executive Director, Karen Tollenaar Demorest and emerging leader and Assistant Manager for Employer and Partner Relations, Charity Freeman.

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“We are honored to be the recipient of this award,” said Karen Tollenaar Demorest, Executive Director for YJC. “Every day we are reminded how tough it can be for young people to get on the path to a secure future. Our high school postsecondary planning programs work to ensure that young people have options that fit their individual interests and needs and ultimately reduce the number of young adults who become disconnected from work and school.”

Youth Job Center Participates in U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program


On Friday October 27th, Youth Job Center was lucky to host a delegation of Youth and Workforce Development professionals from Morocco as part of the U.S. State Departments International Visitor Leadership Program. Youth Job Center was selected to participate in this program due to our 34 years of experience in Youth and Workforce Development in the Chicagoland area and we couldn't be prouder to share our experience and knowledge with our friends from Morocco. 

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.


Over the course of a few hours YJC staff and our visitors we're able to discuss the importance of engaging young people in employment, how to effectively develop programs and practices to help youth gain access to the resources they need to be economically self-sufficient, how to overcome the significant barriers that youth, both domestic and foreign, face everyday, and share our experiences in working with and helping develop the next generation for success in the workplace. 

Thank you to the U.S. State Department for inviting us to participate in this fantastic and eye-opening experience, and for our friends from Morocco for being such wonderful and informative guests.