Mission

YMEN’s comprehensive programs offer a wide range of educational support, mentoring from positive role models, spiritual and emotional guidance, vocational classes in the arts, career-based and entrepreneurial education, sports and recreational activities, family supportive services, and service learning to more than 250 students annually.

YMEN’s 30 programs seek to build layers of support that ensures students will:

  • Have excellent attendance in school and in after-school programs
  • Graduate from high school and college
  • Participate in levels of leadership within the community
  • Have the ability to make a positive contribution in a diverse world
  • View themselves and others as valuable to God and society

Central to our programs is our mission:

To prepare young men in North Lawndale for leadership by helping them grow in their faith and character, develop a love for learning, and use their talents to serve the community and strengthen our families.

In 2012, the Young Men’s educational Network launched PEARL, a leadership initiative for the young women of YMEN. Pearl’s mission is:

To have consistent positive growth in education, attitudes, and their relationship with God and others. Through service and leadership these young women will model the change-making behaviors that inspire others to positively impact their communities.

Click on their logo to learn more about PEARL:

YMEN and PEARL have a vision that the youth of North Lawndale will be the emerging leaders to bring revitalization and positive solutions to the community and its residents. We believe that every student has the ability to use their gifts and talents to make a positive contribution to the broader community. It is our organization’s challenge to provide an
environment where each young person can grow in their personal development and utilize their strengths in a leadership capacity. In order to accomplish this vision, YMEN and PEARL will:

  • Foster relationships built on respect
  • Provide opportunities for continued personal growth
  • Achieve excellence in both programs and participation
  • Work for reconciliation between races, gender, and class
  • Value every person’s contribution
  • Seek continual improvements through innovation