Local young adults engage with Illinois leaders at Springfield Leadership Summit

Several young adults from YouthBuild Lake County recently joined forces with other YouthBuild programs from across Illinois in the 2024 Leadership Summit held in Springfield. The event, spanning three days at the state capital, aimed to enhance awareness of the YouthBuild initiatives with key Illinois politicians, and to underscore the vital services YouthBuild programs provide.

YBLC sent six current participants, two alumni, and staff to the series of enriching activities and demonstrations. The summit kicked off with a group dinner on Monday, followed by team-building exercises that fostered connections among youth from various regions of the state.

On Tuesday, YBLC participants showcased their skills during a construction demonstration alongside other programs from across the state. The YBLC team constructed a doghouse, which was donated to a local pet shelter. Senator Adriane Johnson visited the demonstration and had the chance to speak to the young people while they were building.

The summit also provided a platform for meaningful engagement with key political figures. On Tuesday, the group met with Illinois Senate President Don Harmon to discuss the transformative impact of YouthBuild programs. The following day, members had the honor of meeting with Representatives Rita Mayfield and Martin McLaughlin at the Capitol Building. The discussions focused on personal testimonies from YBLC participants, highlighting the profound influence of YouthBuild on their lives.

The highlight of the trip came when the YBLC participants had the unique opportunity to sit in the speaker’s gallery during a legislative hearing. Representative Mayfield recognized the group to the legislators and delivered a moving state resolution, reiterating her long-standing support for YouthBuild and its ongoing significance across Illinois.

YBLC is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary and remains dedicated to empowering young people through education, skills training, and community service, continually striving to make a positive impact both locally and at the state level.

For more information about YouthBuild Lake County and their initiatives, visit

The mission of YouthBuild Lake County is to provide underserved young adults with education, training and life skills necessary to become gainfully employed and build a better future. Through three different education and career programs, YBLC offers career training opportunities in construction, healthcare, transportation/distribution and logistics, and utilities.

Since it’s first program in 2004, YouthBuild has served over 1,000 young adults throughout Lake County and neighboring communities. Today, YBLC serves over 100 young people each year, and provides follow up and assistance to hundreds of alumni. YBLC Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) organization, with a 509 (a)(1) designation.

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