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The Board of Directors of Y.O.U. (Youth Organizations Umbrella), an Evanston-based youth service organization, today announced the retirement of Executive Director Don Baker, effective June 1, 2011.

As the founding Executive Director of Y.O.U., Baker has served the organization since 1971. Over the course of its 40 years as a social service agency in Evanston, Y.O.U. has become one of the city’s most important youth organizations, helping thousands of young people achieve more fulfilling lives.

The organization provides year-round after-school and neighborhood-based service programs to more than 400 young people annually at six locations in the city.  In addition, Y.O.U. provides individual and family counseling and 24 hour crisis services to youth.  Many of the youth and families who participate in Y.O.U. programs are not getting the support they need for reasons that include poverty, chronic stress, and problems at home or school.

“Don Baker’s leadership on youth-related issues has been a gift for the city of Evanston. His compassion for youth and his love of Y.O.U. and all it does for families cannot be replicated,” said Board President Chip Brady. “As a Board, we are determined to find an outstanding individual that can continue Don’s great work and move our agency forward.”

A search committee, co-chaired by Chip Brady and Y.O.U.’s Vice-President of Planning and Partnerships, John Koski, is accepting resumes for the position until January 14, 2011.  The committee is being advised by former Board President Michael Weston.  A detailed job posting can be found at http://www.youevanston.org/employment/74-executive-director-search.  Questions can be directed to Tonya Patterson, Director of Human Resources at tonya.patterson@youevanston.org.  

Don Baker’s 40 years of service to Y.O.U. will be recognized at the Y.O.U. Annual Dinner, February 26, 2011 at the Evanston Golf Club, where he will be presented with the Jay Moore Award for Creative Youth Service.  In addition, a reception honoring Don’s service to the community will be held in May, 2011.

For more information about Y.O.U., contact Marianne Moberly at (847) 866-1200 or visit the website www.you.evanston.org.