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About Us

AmeriCorps Project YES! (Youth, Education, Service)

Mission


PROJECT YES! educates youth holistically by providing classroom support, after school programming, and volunteer initiatives.

PROJECT YES! nurtures youth through positive mentorship by fostering relationships of trust and respect.

PROJECT YES! inspires youth by encouraging and facilitating civic engagement and leadership opportunities.

PROJECT YES! provides a structure of growth and self-motivation that empowers youth to develop skills in becoming self-sufficient individuals.

History

AmeriCorps has been a part of the Settlement since 1997.  The first AmeriCorps program sponsored by the Settlement was Integrating Arts, Intergrading Education, which placed AmeriCorps members in area schools to help teachers develop meaningful arts curriculum in their classrooms.  Integrating Arts, Intergrading Education ran from 1997 – 1999. The current AmeriCorps program at the Settlement, Project YES!, started in 2000 and is currently in its eighteenth year of service.

The Program

Project YES! focuses on three program components:

Getting Things Done

Community Strengthening

Member Development

Each of these program goals has specific objectives for each program year, including the following:

  • Collaborating in partnerships with classroom teachers to enhance core curriculum.
  • Strengthening existing, and develop new before- and after-school programming.
  • Developing special projects to provide volunteering opportunities for West Town families, community members, and other interested volunteers. (250 adult volunteers & 35 volunteer projects)
  • Creating an increased ethic of service in members who complete the program.
  • Preparing members to be more effective citizens in their life after AmeriCorps.

Impact


For Students

Students have all the benefits of an extra adult in their classroom: additional academic support, social and emotional role modeling, and individual mentoring. Students also benefit from member-directed programming such as guidance through the college application process for high school seniors.


For Schools

Project YES! provides the opportunity for schools to utilize a team of college graduates on a full-time basis to strengthen and support their school communities at minimal cost. Project YES! members serve as tutors and mentors to the students, building meaningful relationships and furthering students’ academic successes. Many former AmeriCorps Project YES! members have worked for partnered schools after their year of service.


For Members

Project YES! members are some of the best and brightest young people in the nation, coming to the Settlement as graduates of some of the best colleges and universities in the country. A year of National Service creates a learning experience that is almost impossible to achieve in college. National Service exposes members to a diversity of race, socioeconomic status, and education levels that many have never experienced before. What Project YES! members take away from their year of service is almost as important as what they put in.


For the Settlement

Project YES! exposes a new class of young people each year to the mission and work of the Settlement. For many members, AmeriCorps service is the beginning of a lifetime commitment to the non-profit and community development profession. Many former AmeriCorps Project YES! members have gone on to work for the Settlement.

People


Yasmin Rodriguez, Program Director
Yasmin began working at Northwestern Settlement as Program Coordinator for its first AmeriCorps program. As director, she supervises program staff and members. Yasmin also coordinates the Golden Agers, the Settlement's program for seniors. She received her B.A. in Social Work and Spanish from Northeastern Illinois University.

Megan Bott, Program Manager
Megan started working as Program Manager following her service year in Project YES! at Rowe Elementary. As a manager, Megan supervises members and plans member development trainings and workshops. She received her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Illinois Springfield.

Northwestern Settlement

Opening Doors of Opportunity

AmeriCorps Project YES! is a program of Northwestern Settlment, which was founded in 1891 amid the settlement house movement in Chicago and other major cities. The concept was simple but innovative and powerful. Those of means would settle in impoverished neighborhoods, often comprised of immigrant, minority and other disadvantaged populations. These social reformists would then set about the much needed work of empowering and inspiring the neighbors around them.

Northwestern Settlement is one of few remaining settlement houses in the country, and is the oldest continually operating settlement house in Chicago. The Settlement offers a wide variety of programs and services for young and old including educational opportunities, emergency services, live theater, family events and, of course, outdoor programs at House In The Wood. You can learn more about the Settlement's rich history and find ways to get involved at northwesternsettlement.org.

AmeriCorps

From the AmeriCorps website: AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country.
Learn More about AmeriCorps