August 2015 - eNewsletter
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East Village Youth Program
August 2015

Executive Director 
Stephanie Willding, MPA

High School Program Coordinator 
Nora Frazin

College Program Coordinator 
Julia Gerasimenko

Development & Finance Coordinator
Stephanie Baki


A Note from EVYP Executive Director

Dear Friend:
We are thoroughly enjoying summer here at EVYP! Our After School Matters Summer Program is in full swing with a few weeks left and a lot more to show our students. In addition to programming, our staff is busy getting ready for our Back to School Bash! All of the details are below.

Finally, we have a Q&A with the President of our Board of Directors, Mr. Alan Castro. If you’ve been to any of our events you’ve heard Alan speak about all the great things EVYP does, but you probably haven’t heard his EVYP story. Read more below!  
With Gratitude, 

Stephanie Willding, MPA
Executive Director

Summer Program

Today marks the start of our fifth week of our Summer Program and we still have many upcoming field trips. We have a spirited group of students that are excited to learn about possible career paths. The last few weeks of program will include trips to the Criminal Courthouse, the International Museum of Surgical Science and one last college visit to Northwestern University. We try to show our students that college and career choice go hand-in-hand. EVYP is grateful to have teamed up with After School Matters for another year to provide this Program to our students. Follow along on Facebook!

Back to School Bash!

What: Back to School Bash!
Where: Headquarters – Lakeview (2833 N. Sheffield Ave.)
When: Thursday, August 13 6:00-8:30pm

If you haven’t purchased your tickets to our Back to School Bash at Headquarters Beercade on August 13, it’s not too late! Tickets are $15 and include a wristband to get you into the event and unlimited game play. In addition, Headquarters will donate 20% of your bar tab to EVYP. Click here to purchase tickets. 

Board of Directors Spotlight:
EVYP Board of  Directors President, Alan Castro

Give us a brief history of your involvement with EVYP.

I was introduced to EVYP by my sister Susana who was serving on the Board at the time. Shortly after attending the annual fundraiser I was asked if I wanted to join the Board.  It sounded cool so I agreed and sometime in 2000 I joined the board. At that time I was the youngest Board member and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. It’s been fun. Throughout the years I served as a tutor and mentor. I served as Treasurer and Vice President as well before being elected as President in 2009.

What makes EVYP special?
Both at the staff and Board levels there has always been a feeling of family. For the students we serve, EVYP is special because it fills a gap in their lives that is essential for success in school, career and life. Most of our students are the first in their family to go to college and lack someone to help navigate the process and give valuable advice to make the right decisions. And as a side effect of our program, students form lifelong bonds and friendships with their peers and the staff/volunteers. I’ve seen firsthand the long-term results that EVYP has produced. From doctors to attorneys to entrepreneurs, EVYP has inspired them all. Every alumnus I’ve met has credited EVYP as a major part of their success…so much so that we have two former students currently serving on the Board.

How has EVYP impacted your life?
If I had to answer in two words: Jess Levine. I’ve been blessed to have met so many special people throughout the years.  Even though I never went through the program personally, I, too, have found great friends and mentors at EVYP. I’ve grown both personally and professionally in my time with EVYP. I’m proud to have been involved in the success we’ve experienced. I’m more excited to see the new leadership take it even further.

If you could give current EVYP students one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. For as long as you live there will always be someone out there that’s “been there and done that” and is more than willing to lend a helping hand. No one gets to the top by themselves. In the same regard you should always be willing to help those you can. Leverage the resources and people you know. Don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t be afraid to fail at every one of them. 
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