Helping over 50,000 individuals through counseling, housing and prevention education is no easy task, but it’s all part of the job for the new Chief Executive Officer of 360 Youth Services, Katy Leclair.
With a background managing the greater Joliet areas’ four YMCA’s, Leclair jumped at the opportunity to help youth in her hometown of Naperville.
“From a location perspective I’m here where my family is and where my son is, and from a personal perspective I was an “Operation Snowball” participant in high-school and that program really changed my life, and for me to be able to come to an organization that supports the “Snowball Program” here in Naperville is something that was really inspiring for me,” said Leclair.
Just two months into her new role, Leclair has big plans for 360’s 45–year anniversary, which includes revamping the prevention program “Operation Snowball,” and realigning counseling services with those who need them most.
“We’re really going to be working hard for our strategic plan, ‘how do we best support kids here in Naperville?’ We have a committee that’s going to start next year and to help the 2020 Vision for ‘what is it most that kids need, and how do we provide those services?’ So looking at that strategic plan is a really important piece of what we’re going to do this next year,” said Leclair.
But with those plans comes potential setbacks, as 80 percent of their state funding is still in question due to the government holdup – leaving Leclair in a difficult position.
“To date we have more than $120,000 dollars that the State owes us and if we don’t get payments that means that more than half of our reserves will be used in this one year alone, and from a sustainability perspective, I think funding is my number one concern- working on a plan to make sure that we will be here for generations to come,” said Leclair.
Regardless of the state’s input, Leclair will continue to provide for our communities’ youth in hopes of improving their lives today and impacting their future.
When you can wake up and know that you make a difference, whatever that difference might be. Young people come back and say ‘you made a difference, your programs are what supported me in my time of need,’ and I know that that happens everyday whether we hear it or not. I know that our staff in the best interest in kids in mind and everything that we do every day is going to helping support every young person in our community and that for me is reward enough,” said Leclair.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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