by Jason Altenbern
It was 1982 and Naperville Community Outreach represented an office staff of one full-time director and one part-time outreach worker while maintaining office space on top of a barbershop next to Beidelman Furniture in downtown Naperville. That is the setting in which Karen Jarczyk stepped into the new role as a crisis intervention worker, responding to the needs of Naperville’s young people, and she has been with our agency ever since.
Fast-forward 35 years later and we can celebrate how there are literally thousands of young people who have been positively impacted by Karen’s pioneering work in prevention education in our communities. Through her leadership, 360’s profile has expanded to include programs like The Power of Choice, Naperville Operation Snowball, and she has forged many local/regional partnerships like the Community Alliance for Prevention.
When asked to highlight one proud moment regarding her experience at 360, Karen states, “I see more and more young people returning to work for us who were once part of our programs as adolescents. What happened as a teenager was so impactful that 360 has become the place in which they now want to work or volunteer and that’s pretty special.”
We are proud of the work we perform at 360 Youth Services to enrich and enhance the lives of young people and we owe a large debt of gratitude to Karen and her sincere dedication to living out our mission every day.
360 Youth Services provides life-changing services to youth through prevention education, counseling and housing. Visit www.360youthservices.org to learn more. Jason Altenbern is Development Director at 360. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.