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Youth Guidance Raises Funds As It Celebrates 'Working on Womanhood' Program

Youth Guidance Board Member Peter McNitt of Winnetka attended the Youth Guidance Gala on Saturday, May 12.

Youth Guidance Board Member Peter McNitt of Winnetka attended the Youth Guidance Gala on Saturday, May 12.

Youth Guidance, Chicago’s longest-serving social service agency with a daily presence in Chicago Public Schools, raised nearly $300,000 at its annual benefit Saturday, May 14th. More than three hundred fifty people attended the evening dinner-dance at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel and celebrated the introduction of Youth Guidance’s newest program, W.O. W. (Working on Womanhood).

Guests at the program were presented with a heart-warming video <; titled “W.O.W.: Working on Womanhood which highlighted the transformational impact it has had in the lives of female participants ages 12-18. A live testimonial and powerful singing performance was given by the naturally gifted high school student, Courtney Johnson. As a school-based counseling/female character development program, W.O.W. is designed to prevent drug use and increase school attendance, connection and graduation rates by building character, increasing developmental assets, supporting self-esteem and improving social and interpersonal skills among at-risk female youth. The program, modeled after B.A.M (Becoming A Man™) for male youth, will begin in September 2012, due to the success of its pilot in 7 Chicago public schools.

“Youth Guidance delivers a wide range of school-based programs and services to Chicago’s at-risk youth and we can’t do it without the continued support of our generous benefactors,” said Youth Guidance CEO, Michelle Adler Morrison. Proceeds will support Youth Guidance’s counseling, community and after school and youth workforce development programs. “Our W.O.W program helps girls understand the importance of valuing themselves and teaches them how to become successful at overcoming devastating challenges.”

ComEd Honored as ‘Organization of the Year’
This year’s gala recognized leaders in local community service. Youth Guidance Board member, Sheila Owens accepted the Organization of the Year Award on behalf of ComEd. The Outstanding Individual Service Award was given to Mr. John and Mary Raitt due to their strong commitment to supporting Youth Guidance programs.

To learn more about Youth Guidance, W.O.W, or other outcomes-driven, school-based programs contact Marketing & Communications Manager, Karina Rosado at 312-994-8118 (, visit, or

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