As a nonprofit organization committed to academic readiness, character development, youth safety and violence prevention and fitness and healthy living, the Kelly Hall YMCA has been proud to help our neighbors learn, grow and thrive since 2009.
Between the after school programs which keep children and youth safely off the streets, the hot nutritious meals enjoyed by all and activities like magazine publishing that teach real life job skills, the Kelly Hall YMCA strengthens bodies, minds and communities.
Where some see obstacles, we see opportunities for our members, volunteers, program participants and staff to make a difference. Kelly Hall YMCA proudly serves the community of West Humboldt Park where today for more than 1,700 program participants make the Kelly Hall YMCA their second home. Kelly Hall provides local children and families the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve, and where people of all ages, interests and abilities can build and maintain healthy lifestyle habits.
Kelly Hall Needs Your Help Now More Than Ever
On April 3, 2015 the Illinois Department of Human Services unexpectedly suspended funds for Teen REACH programs across Illinois. Due to these cuts the YMCA of Metro Chicago has been forced to shut down its Teen REACH programs at Ys in the Logan Square, Little Village and West Humboldt Park neighborhoods. Kelly Hall YMCA, located in the West Huimboldt Park neighborhood, was hit the hardest by these cuts as a large portion of its staff are funded by Teen REACH dollars requiring the Center to look at drastically cutting back its program offerings and hours of operation unless alternative funding can be identified. Help us raise funds to restore these positions and keep Kelly Hall operating at it current level. The lives of many at-risk youth and their families depends on it.
We need to raise $150,000 to continue to serve our youth and teens at current levels through June 30, 2016. Contact Ken Maddox, Senior Program Director at 773.886.1220 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how or attend our annual fundraiser Saturday, April 16 to show your support.
Details about the fundraiser provided below.
|Life Enhancing Programs||A Revitalized Facility|
They say the most common reason people volunteer is because they are asked. For Hilda Marshall, being asked turned into 19 years!
In 1996 Hilda's son was attending a summer program at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago when she was asked to volunteer as a mentor for Y-pals. What started as a one year commitment working with at risk youth became 19 years of helping young women to become successful.
Hilda’s duties as a mentor have been to focus on helping improve education and literacy. She helps students prepare for college, improve attendance rates, and improve their grades. Yet she tries to ensure there is fun to be had as well. Each year she and her mentees embark on an educational road trip.
Hilda says, “if you give your time to someone or something else, it will be you who receives the most in return.” She maintains many of the relationships she has formed with the young women she has mentored, all the way back to her very first mentee 19 years ago!
Last December Hilda received the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Year of the Volunteer Award. With that she was presented with a donation of $1000 for the organization she volunteers with.
Hilda is now in charge of the mentoring program at the YMCA she serves, but she continues to personally mentor youth.
March 01, 2016
When it comes to leadership and advocacy, high school junior Elijah Joiner has it all. On May 21, 2016, the YMCA of Metro Chicago presented Elijah with one of two Teen-of-the-Year Awards at the first annual Teen Awards Ceremony.
Elijah volunteers his time leading the Youth Basketball Association (YBA) teams at the Kelly Hall YMCA. He has lead the YBA teams to many championship victories and is an excellent role model to the Biddy basketball team. Elijah is also an outstanding basketball player and student at Curie High School, where his team just won the IHSA State Championships for the first time.
On top of his impressive leadership and sportsmanship, Elijah has been a key advocate in the fight to save the Teen REACH Program at Kelly Hall, a youth development initiative that provides after school program services to opportunity youth. When the Cook County Sheriff hosted a press conference, Elijah spoke on behalf of Kelly Hall to help bring funding back to the program. Other programs he is involved in at the Y include the Kelly Hall Sports Officiating Program, Summer Camp, Academic Readiness Program and After School Matters (ASM).
After graduating high school, Elijah plans to share what he's learned with the YMCA and will continue to work on his service project. With recruiters like Illinois State, Loyola, DePaul and many others offering him full-ride scholarships, he will surely be successful wherever he ends up. Congratulations, Elijah!
On April 8, YMCA of Metro Chicago youth and staff attended a rally at the James R. Thompson Center to urge Governor Bruce Rauner to restore Teen REACH funding.
Kelly Hall YMCA program member, Dayshawn Hunt, age 13, testified April 1 at the Appropriations Human Services Committee Hearing in support of continued funding for the Teen REACH program.
Christian describes the day he met outreach worker Devon Timms as one that changed, and saved, his life.
At the age of 7, Christian lost three very important people in his life: his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. The tragedy left the young boy depressed and angry. His grades suffered, he misbehaved and he became more interested in hanging out with drug dealers and gang members than with other children from his school.
Two years later, Devon saw Christian outside the Kelly Hall YMCA and invited him inside. "At first, I didn’t want to go because I was dirty and bummy. I didn’t have a lot of nice things like the other kids," Christian says. "Finally, I went there and that was the best decision I ever made. The kids and staff welcomed me right in."
Thanks to the Teen REACH out-of-school-time prevention program, Christian joined the Y’s basketball team and developed leadership skills through the guidance of his coaches. He also enjoyed many first-time experiences outside of his neighborhood, such as canoeing, hiking, archery and camping.
The Teen REACH program provided him, and other underserved youth from low-income families, with tutoring, mentoring, college preparation and enriching activities in a safe environment with positive role models.
Now a high school sophomore, Christian is on the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Teen Leadership Council and dreams of playing basketball in college.
"The YMCA is not just a Y, it’s my family. I never thought about college or even wanted to go before the Y." He adds, "I would not be the person I am today if it had not been for the great people there who help me every day."
The Teen REACH program was offered at the Kelly Hall YMCA, McCormick Tribune YMCA and Rauner Family YMCA. Due to state budget cuts, the program ended in fall 2015.
This story appeared in the 2015 YMCA of Metro Chicago Annual Report. View online report.
824 N. Hamlin
Chicago, IL 60651
Weekdays: 12 - 8 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.