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Creating Sustainable Leadership In North Lawndale

The Young Men’s Educational Network was started by the RESIDENTS of the North Lawndale community on Chicago’s West Side. Michael Trout and 12 young men started the organization in 1996. YMEN is an effective and dynamic youth leadership organization that was established to address academic and social needs that cripple the futures of our African American young men. Offering 30 different programs, 7 days a week, YMEN provides year-round engagement and a sense of belonging to youth beginning in the 6th grade and continuing through college. YMEN creates a 15- year relationship with its students, helping them successfully transition from adolescence into adulthood by creating a safe place for them to learn and making meaningful investments by caring adult mentors. During this period, YMEN promotes healthy attitudes, growth in skills and knowledge, and appropriate behaviors while effectively helping youth overcome obstacles that stand in the way of academic achievement and responsible citizenship.

  • While only 35% of neighborhood boys earn high school degrees

  • While on 3% earn a bachelors in the neighborhood

  • And here is the most impressive statistic, in our 20-year history of living in one of the most violent neighborhoods in one of the most violent cities, NOT ONE YOUNG MAN IN YMEN, has lost their life to violence!

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"Anyone can be great because anyone can serve" MLK

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