Upon Y.O.U.’s founding, Evanston Youth Commission and Recreation Board member Don Baker was tapped to be the Executive Director. At the time, Don Baker was a recent graduate of Garett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and co-founder of “The Storefront,” a youth-focused space in southern Evanston. He went on to lead Y.O.U. for 40 years, until his retirement in 2011, and remains an active and dedicated volunteer to this day.
Y.O.U. was incorporated in 1971 after the City of Evanston’s Youth Commission and Recreation Board – a group of community and institutional leaders – determined the need to create a new organization to serve “young people whose needs are not being met by more traditional agencies.” Our services have since adapted to meet our community’s changing needs, but our commitment to ensuring youth are safe, supported, and successful endures.
45+ years since our founding, Y.O.U.’s services have grown and adapted to meet the changing needs of youth and our community. However, our commitment to ensuring all youth are safe, supported, and successful endures. Currently, we serve 1,600 young people and reach 4,000 family members through our core service strategies – Advance, Build, and Catalyze.