Proyecto Juventud Discontinued Effective December 31, 2017
Today, Mujeres Latinas en Acción announced its decision to close its youth program, Proyecto Juventud—effective December 31, 2017. The move ensures the 44-year-old organization's long term sustainability in fulfilling its mission—to empower Latinas by providing services that reflect their values and culture and by being an advocate on the issues that make a difference in their lives.
Like thousands of Illinois nonprofit organizations, Mujeres has been hit hard by the state's budget crisis. Pivoting our fundraising strategy and support from our donors and communities allowed Mujeres to keep the program going as long as it did, but over the past several years, we've witnessed the continuing shortfall of funding-specifically for youth programs.
Mujeres’ youth services programs have been an early and integral part of our history and trajectory. We are humbled to have worked with thousands of young people that have walked through our doors. It is because of the impact and transformative power of Proyecto Juventud that made this decision especially difficult. What recent fiscal challenges we've faced, have paved the way for illuminating lessons learned. Mujeres will continue to serve women and their families through our programs which provide domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and intervention, parent support, Latina leadership development, civic engagement, and entrepreneurship training.
As we move forward with this transition, the wellbeing and care of youth and their families is of utmost priority. We will continue exploring permanent solutions with families and community partners. Additionally, we have enlisted the assistance of mental health professionals to assist Mujeres staff in helping youth process the program's closure and provide them any necessary support.
We are grateful to our tireless staff, board, volunteers, women and families for their ongoing support and commitment to our mission.
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