Q: What is 360 Youth Services?
A: 360 Youth Services began in 1971 when a group of concerned parents, community and religious leaders recognized the need for professional, youth-centered services in the Naperville community. They formed a city council that eventually became a non-profit organization referred to as the Naperville Community Outreach.
In 2011, the Naperville Community Outreach, or NCO changed its name to 360 Youth Services to better reflect its mission and vision of a community where all youth possess the necessary skills to successfully navigate life’s challenges.
Today 360 Youth Services continues to play a leadership role in the development of programs that encourage positive social change by providing life-changing services through substance use prevention education, counseling and transitional housing for youth experiencing homelessness.
Q: What is your background and what led you to ORGANIZATION?
A: My background is in Parks & Recreation with a Masters in Public Service from DePaul University. I have always worked for Municipalities including Chicago Park District and the Naperville Park District. Through my involvement in local events I have built many positive relationships with community members. While working for the Naperville Park District, I got a call from a local colleague that I have worked with on many occasions. He was looking to fill an open position at 360 Youth Services and thought I would be a perfect fit. I jumped at an opportunity in the non-profit sector and am proud to work for such a youth centric organization. To keep involved in civil work, I am a SECA (Special Events & Cultural Amenities) Commissioner for the City Of Naperville.
Q: What gets you excited about your work?
A: This is easy. To see the youth we serve thrive and be successful in life. To see the housing, prevention and counseling team beam with pride as they watch our young adults spread their wings and fly on their own. This is my excitement!
Q: If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do?
A: My plan was the Peace Corp right out of College, but I fell in love.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: I am proud to teach my four children that moms work too, and having pride in your work will take you far in life. I involve my children with 360 Youth Services through events and volunteering. This teaches them the value of service to our community and to appreciate the blessings in their own lives.
Headshots courtesy of Megan Drane, Firefly Nights Photography.