Staff

Jennifer Yonan - Executive Director

Jennifer is a successful executive with broad-based experience in the fields of nonprofit leadership, fundraising, marketing, community/government relations, economic development and business operations. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Certification in Fundraising Management from North Park University as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL with a degree in Communications. Jennifer served for twelve years as Vice President of Marketing and Development with the United Way of Lake County and most recently as Executive Director with Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center in Gurnee and Skokie. Jennifer was drawn to YCC because she wanted to serve the vulnerable in the area where she was born and raised and because she recognizes the importance of education and hands-on experience in the trades.In her spare time, she enjoys cycling around the Lake County Forest Preserves. Her favorite word is Courage.

Trisha Blythe - Development Director

Trisha earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Minor in Spanish from The University of Iowa. She completed her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education at National-Louis University, in Wheeling, IL. She then taught fifth grade for several years before starting her own private tutoring business in the north and west suburbs of Chicago. In the summer of 2018, Trisha began working as the Grants Administrator for YCC and was promoted to Director of Development shortly after. Trisha loves seeing the amazing transformations that YCC members make as they progress throughout the program. She is proud when she sees all the fantastic things they accomplish. The best piece of advice she’s ever received was to “be a hero maker, not a hero”. This means building up others, highlighting their strengths and talents and using one’s power to help others become great.

Susan Green - Instructional Services Manager

Susan earned her Bachelor of Arts from Lewis University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola University, Chicago. She worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago for nineteen years as a teacher and principal at St Simeon in Bellwood, IL. Susan joined YCC after raising her children. She was drawn to YCC because she wanted to maximize her impact by educating an underserved population and age group that had a substantial need for assistance. When Susan isn’t educating, she enjoys taking road trips with her family to the national parks, where they hike, camp and learn about the unique ecosystems of each park.

Fred Williams - Case Manager

Fred received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Iowa and a Master’s of Divinity/Pastoral Care and Counseling at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL. He is a United States Air Force Veteran. As the Case Manager, he’s had success with members by working with them directly in an effort to build a sense of self-motivation from within. In his spare time, he’s a smooth jazz and R&B aficionado. He enjoys discovering obscure tracks and plans to share them with the world as an internet radio DJ.

Ed Roucka - Construction Manager

While previously working in construction, Ed developed a passion for education while teaching his apprentices. He welcomed the opportunity to bring this passion and his expertise to help Lake County youth develop skills that will help them succeed in the workforce. Ed says that the teaching relationship goes both ways between him as his students. He’s always learning new things from them. In his spare time, Ed enjoys spending time with his grandkids and watching all Chicago sports teams. He prefers the Cubs but will root for the Sox as well.

Bill Foltz - Outreach Coordinator

Bill received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Illinois State University and has been a member of the YCC staff since 2012. He had a desire the learn the needs of young people in the Lake County area and sought out YCC, serving two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA as the Bridge to College Specialist. He then served one year as an AmeriCorps member in the role of Program Coordinator, and has been in charge of keeping member files up to date and in compliance with government regulations. Bill was the Program Coordinator at YCC since 2015 and was promoted to Program Manager in the fall of 2019. In his spare time he loves to watch baseball and is a Chicago Cubs superfan.

Kristin Hunt - Social Worker

After working as a school teacher for some time, Kristen discovered her true calling as a therapist. She specializes in addressing family issues, stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, bereavement and relationship distress. She utilizes her past experiences as a teacher  to help clients learn new skills to overcome problems, improve communication, build healthy relationships and help people transform their lives for the better. While working at YCC, her goals are to help reduce the stigma against mental illness and to support each member as they strive to overcome barriers in order to move forward and achieve their goals.

Tyrone McGee - Construction Supervisor

Tyrone grew up in the Lake County area with a similar background as the members he serves and was even a member himself. Because of these experiences, his empathy and understanding give him a unique ability to teach and connect with members. He loves to mentor and give others the opportunities that he was afforded at YCC. The best pieces of advice he’s received are: “Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed” and “There is no such thing as growth when you’re comfortable”. 

Robette Williams - Human Resources Assistant

From an early age, Robette felt a calling to serve and advocate for those who need the most help. After working eight years as the Executive Legislative Assistant for State Representative Eddie Washington, she dedicated herself to helping students at Youth Conservation Corps. YCC gives her the opportunity to use her skills to help disenfranchised young people.


Alex Fillak - Marketing & Communications Specialist

Alex holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a minor in English and a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Arts & Sciences from Columbia College in Chicago. He previously worked as a freelance video producer in Chicago. He was drawn to YCC because of their mission to help an underserved population succeed while having the opportunity to use his video and photo skills he gained in his education. He likes to spend his free time with his girlfriend and cat, watching soccer, and playing board games.  


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