The board of directors of Youth Organizations Umbrella has announced that Don Baker, executive director of Y.O.U. since its founding in 1971, will retire in June.

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 who can continue Don’s great work and move our agency forward.”

Don Baker’s 40 years of service to Y.O.U. will be recognized at the annual dinner on Feb. 26.