The Youth and Family Center of McHenry County exists to enhance the quality of life of the McHenry community by encouraging education, promoting healthy lifestyles, and developing multicultural relationships.
We see a future when all community members, regardless of cultural background or income level, will have access to vital resources and an excellent education.
Previously run by the Latino Coalition, The Garden Quarter Neighborhood Resource Center officially became a 501(c)3 due to the disintegration of the overarching Coalition in July 2009. By becoming an independent non-profit organization, GQNRC prevented the cessation of services to the community. By doing so we ensured that 40 at-risk youth continued to have a safe place to receive academic support and interact with positive adult role models. In the past years we have greatly increased our parent involvement by providing opportunities for parents to take on leadership roles, introducing curriculum and educational information to the parents and encouraging them to play an active role in the center’s decisions and fundraising. In addition, through service projects, our community garden, and partnerships with local organizations and foundations, we have increased the youth’s involvement within our direct community.
Why we do what we do:
In McHenry County, one in ten children are living in families with incomes below the poverty threshold.
Often, youth living in these environments fall behind in school, turn to drugs or violence, and have higher incidents of teen pregnancy. By opening our doors to this population, we provide additional homework help and tutoring for youth after school, the time when children are likely to engage in risky behavior.
The vast majority of our client base is Hispanic. The National Assessment of Educational Progress has reported in the past several years that the performance gap between native English speakers and Hispanic students remains large. Hispanic students can fall through the cracks of our public school systems, slipping by with lower performance levels than their peers, and finishing high school unprepared for further education.
100% of our students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. Low-income families often cannot afford tutoring services, day care, or mentoring services to aid in their child’s academic and social development. We provide our services for free to this population, giving them access to resources that may normally be out of their financial reach.