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In collaboration with the Oak Park Public Library, Success of ALL Youth (SAY) facilitated a weekly summer workshop with youth from the community. The group, called Community Builders participated in 7 weeks of sessions, on the following topics:

  1. What makes a strong community?
  2. Challenges youth face in our community
  3. How Collective Impact works to address solutions in a community
  4. Acting as a representative of a community organization
  5. Advocating for change in the community
  6. Why philanthropy is important to the community
  7. Creating the structure for a SAY Youth Council

Participants were introduced to a number of engaging presenters from the community to speak about the topics presented. Speakers included:

  • Kristin Vogen, President & CEO, Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation
  • Cyndee Landrum, Assistant Director for Public Services, Oak Park Public Library
  • Carolyn Newberry-Schwartz, Executive Director, Collaboration for Early Childhood
  • Cathy Yen, Executive Director, Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce
  • Marc Stopek, Editorial Cartoonist/Weekly Sales Manager, Wednesday Journal
  • Stephen Jackson, Community Youth Advocate, Oak Park Township
  • Carrie Summy, Executive Director, The Neighborhood Giving Project
  • Nancy Waichler, Community Philanthropist
  • Rhea Yap, Donor and Grants Officer, Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation

In addition to building knowledge about the community in which they live, the group will also be responsible for creating the structure for a youth council, which SAY will oversee to ensure that the youth voice is part of SAY initiatives throughout its process.
Check out the photos from the Community Builders sessions on the SAY Facebook page

SAY logo design competition participants (from left) Sophomore Grace Fox, Junior Logan Heffernan and Senior Celeste Moncrief

Winning logo design, created by OPRFHS Sophomore Grace Fox

As the Success of All Youth (SAY) began to take its “public shape,” we felt it was important to engage the community’s youth in the concept of SAY’s brand. So, last fall, SAY invited high school students in the Oak Park and River Forest communities to participate in a logo design competition. The contest challenged young artists to focus on the message of SAY, in order to create a logo that best represented the mission of the initiative. The final group of 7 submissions, which all came from students at OPRF High School, expressed an impressive artistic sophistication. The staff-based marketing team had a challenge in narrowing down the final selections, which they felt best suited SAY and its mission. Sophomore Grace Fox earned first place in the competition for her logo, followed by Senior Celeste Moncrief and Junior Logan Heffernan who were runners up.

SAY intends to engage these three young designers in our future community outreach endeavors.