Michael Trout, Founder
Mike is a graduate of Wheaton College who moved into the North Lawndale community with Karen in August, 1992. After serving four years with the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation, Michael Trout became the Executive Director of YMEN at its inception in November, 1996. He has received a certificate in non-profit management from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has completed financial training through the Nonprofit Financial Center. He completed a 15-month training with the DeVos Urban Leadership Institute and has received numerous awards for his work in youth leadership development. He lives with his family in North Lawndale, Chicago.
Marcus Thorne, Interim Executive Director
Marcus’ wide range of education and professional experience makes him qualified to serve in an executive leadership role, yet, it is his love of community, family, and most importantly God that sets him apart. With a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has served at the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation, North Lawndale College Prep High School, and on multiple organization and corporate Boards. He is not new to YMEN. Marcus served as YMEN’s Director of Mentoring from 2010 to 2012 and we are thrilled he has returned to make an even greater impact in this new role.
Will Chatman, Program Manager
Will was one of the original 12 young men that started YMEN back in 1996. He stayed with the organization and graduated college from Olivet Nazarene University as the FIRST African American male to get a degree in elementary education in the school’s 100-year history. After teaching at both Catalyst School and LEARN Charter School, Will joined the YMEN team full time as our Program Director. He and his wife, Denise live in the Lawndale community and run YMEN’s college residential program for students who attend local colleges and universities. Will is a lead instructor in Dare to Be King and YMEN’s Big Biz Entrepreneurship class.
Nancy Kapp, Executive Assistant
You have heard it said, “Behind every good man is a great woman.” It is true that behind this male-oriented organization is a talented and caring woman that provides the organization and infrastructure to keep the YMEN machine going. Having been trained in youth leadership from LeaderTreks and achieving a Master’s Degree from Wheaton College, Nancy moved into the North Lawndale community to use these gifts to serve our young people. While her focus is administrative, Nancy teaches in our JAM program and shares her love of visual arts with our Arts Alive program.
Victor Roberts, Facilities Coordinator
Victor Roberts has been connected to YMEN since our beginning. Two of his children attended YMEN, both going on to earn Master’s Degrees; and currently, four of his grandchildren are in YMEN and PEARL. Victor provides his carpentry expertise to YMEN in managing 5 buildings and 12 additional property lots.
Marcell Pickett, Registrar
Marcell is the first face every YMEN student sees when they walk through our front door. His smile and warm greeting help create the loving environment and sense of belonging we offer every young person. Students sign in with Marcell and are awarded points for their participation that they can use as currency for trips and activities. Marcell is an indigenous leader of YMEN and graduated from Ray Graham School before joining the YMEN staff. He is also a gold medal special Olympics champion in both the shot put and wheel chair race.
Jason Henderson, “My Brother’s Kitchen” Coordinator
Jason started in YMEN in 6 th grade in our Dare to Be King program at Henson School. He climbed the ladder of leadership through elementary and high school and is now continuing his education at the college level. While at Malcom X College, Jason is living at the YMEN College Residence where in exchange for his rent he runs YMEN’s My Brothers Keeper Saturday pantry, serving 200-300 people a hot lunch. Volunteer and Resource
Chris Langcamp, Coordinator
Chris runs Lampstand Ministries providing hope and encouragement to the hurting and marginalized families on Chicago’s West Side. Part of his mission is to network and support like-minded ministries by mobilizing people and resources to bring greater impact to organizations and programs. YMEN is thrilled to be in partnership with Chris and work together to more adequately love and serve the families in North Lawndale. Chris raises his own support and provides all of his services free of charge to eliminate any financial burden on his partnering organizations.
Juan Flores, Chief of Staff
Juan will tell you that his job description is simple, “To make everyone look good.” Then he will add, “Just don’t make me work too hard.” Juan is a servant leader who sharpens the staff team by providing staff development, personal and mutual accountability, job performance reviews, and executive coaching. Juan’s heartbeat is community outreach and is always looking for ways YMEN can expand its footprint to serve more people. To prepare for growth, Juan invests in adequately equipping emerging leaders to take ownership in YMEN programs and activities.