Serving 1,400 children and families in seven centers and numerous partner sites, Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) provides innovative early childhood and youth development programs for Chicago’s underserved youth. CYC has and continues to change the course of many lives and communities throughout the years. Last year, 100 percent of CYC seniors graduated from high school and are currently enrolled in college or are employed.
Chicago Youth Centers held their annual fundraising event, Believe in Kids Dinner, which celebrates CYC alumni, families, staff, and supporters while raising critical funds for Chicago’s largest private youth organization.
More than 300 attendees gathered at the Ritz-Carlton for the May 17 dinner. Themed Igniting the Spark, the event raised almost $520,000 for the organization.
Emceed by Clarence Hogan, the program included several awards and a keynote speech by Charles Dismuke, a CYC alumnus and Nike Community Ambassador. Maurice Walls, a senior at North Lawndale College Prep who will attend Michigan State University in the fall, received the Epstein Scholarship Award of $5,000, complete with a laptop. The annual Epstein-Donnelley Spirit of Youth Award was presented to Wanda Doucet, esteemed member of the CYC team for 43 years.
This year’s event was sponsored by Wintrust and chaired by Anne Doherty of Acxiom, Jeff Heh of GTCR, and Judy Macior of Experian.
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Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.