Lew Medellin discusses teen sexting
Options for Youth’s Coordinator of Male Programs, Lew Medellin appeared on WYCC’s In the Loop for a panel discussion on teen sexting called Teens, Text and Sex. The panel also included Dr. Kortney Peagram, President, Bulldog Solution, and Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt. You can view the piece here:

The McGuffin Grant

CHICAGO, June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — McGuffin Creative Group, an advertising and communications agency based in Chicago’s West Loop, has awarded the Chicago-based nonprofit Options for Youth the 2015 McGuffin Grant.

The organization was chosen among several qualified applicants to receive $25,000 in creative strategies and design solutions from McGuffin.

McG Grant_150dpi-1

Since 1990, Options for Youth has provided programs for vulnerable youth in the Chicago area. The organization has improved the lives and futures of these youth by teaching adolescent mothers sustainable life practices and training adolescent males to be peer advocates for health.

Through its work with McGuffin, Options for Youth hopes to familiarize the public with the organization and increase support for its causes.

“With the most applicants we’ve ever received, deciding on one recipient was very challenging this year,” says Chris Sculles, McGuffin Creative Group President. “Options for Youth stood out to us because of the exceptional focus the organization has had since its inception. It has built such a strong foundation, and we believe McGuffin’s capabilities are a great fit to help them exceed their goals.”

Now in its fifth year, the McGuffin Grant was created to provide one nonprofit organization each year free access to McGuffin’s team of designers, copywriters and strategists. The agency’s work is determined by the client’s needs and goals, which can include the creation of marketing campaigns that overcome specific challenges.

McGuffin Creative Group is a 25-member creative agency whose specialties range from branding to advertising, web design to direct marketing. Founded in 2004, some of the agency’s clients include BMO Harris Bank, Allstate and Cars.com, as well as nonprofits like Common Threads, Casa Central and the Chicago Police Foundation.

Rahm’s Readers

Options Partners with Rahm’s Readers
at Museum of Science and Industry

Options for Youth celebrated the successful conclusion of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Summer Reading Program with a Smart Baby Fair  for the young mothers and their babies who are participants in the Options Program in four CPS high schools.


Options participants and their children participated in Rahm’s Readers at their local libraries during the summer and forty young mothers and their children ended the program with a Smart Baby Fair which was held at the Museum of Science and Industry  where they explored the Idea Factory and other MSI exhibits designed for very young viewers. The Options Program is a   collaborative Options for Youth/ CPS Community Partnership School-Based Prevention Initiative, a program of CPS Office of Early Childhood Education.

Dwyane Wade Foundation

Options for Youth’s Arlether Paraharm was one of three recent recipients of Dwyane Wade’s prestigious  ‪#‎VillageKeeper‬  Award! Wade’s foundation, Wade’s World, presents this award to deserving individuals who have given their time and efforts to provide a safe and productive environment for children and youth. Arlether is the Program Manager for the Illinois Subsequent Pregnancy Program and coordinates activities at all seven Subsequent Pregnancy Program sites.

30th Anniversary Impact Award

Pat Mosena, President & Founder of Options for Youth, Selected to Receive 30th Anniversary Impact Award from Chicago Foundation for Women

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (Feb. 9, 2015) – Pat Mosena, President & Founder of Options for Youth, will be honored at the 30th Anniversary Impact Awards, hosted by Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW), on Thursday, March 12 at Venue SIX10 at Spertus Institute, 610 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill. The 30th Anniversary Impact Awards will honor Chicago leaders who are exemplary trailblazers who uphold CFW’s mission to advance basic rights and equal opportunity for women and girls. This year’s honorees are diverse in their focus areas including advocacy for undocumented victims of domestic violence, advocacy and social policy efforts for women, increasing life options for underserved adolescents, disability rights activism, and youth sexual education.

“The honorees for the 30th Anniversary Impact Awards are extraordinary women who are persistently working to better the lives of women and girls here in Chicago,” said K. Sujata, President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women. “As we begin our 30th year of exclusively focusing on women and girls—traditionally underrepresented in philanthropic support—these five awards celebrate phenomenal civic leaders who are champions of that work.”

“Being selected as a CFW Impact Award honoree is truly a personal honor, but more importantly, it provides recognition of the talent and commitment of the Options for Youth Home Visitors and staff who, for twenty years, have worked to successfully change the life course of very young mothers by helping them to delay a second pregnancy and complete their high school education,” said Pat Mosena, President and Founder of Options for Youth.

For more than twenty years, Options for Youth has been working to increase opportunities and life options for the most vulnerable populations of adolescents in Chicago, including first-time teen mothers who have a baby before the age of 18. Teen mothers are often written off by their schools and society at large.

The Options for Youth program outcomes over time and diverse populations of adolescents, show that investment in these young women can change their life course. OFY’s Subsequent Pregnancy Program is one of the few programs in the country that focuses upon delaying a SECOND PREGNANCY among adolescent mothers. 97% of program participants delayed a second pregnancy and 90% of those eligible to graduate each year receive their high school diploma. High School graduation rates among young mothers in SPP are twice the national average for pregnant and parenting teens.

CFW’s first Impact Awards honoree in 2005 was Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Since then, more than 50 visionary leaders advancing the well-being of women and girls in Chicago have been recognized. The 30th Anniversary Impact Awards honorees were selected from over 50 community nominations by a volunteer committee: Laura Tucker, Chair, Bernadette Chopra, Marge Collens, Cindy Grau, Virginia Holt, Mariame Kaba, Shia Kapos, Loretta Rosenmeyer, Gail Stern, Chad Tischer, and Courtney VanLonkhuyzen.

About Chicago Foundation for Women

Chicago Foundation for Women raises money to fund and support organizations that help women and girls—it’s all about making smarter connections between need, money and solutions. We believe that when women and girls are secure, whole communities are made better. We improve the lives of women and girls through grants, advocacy, leadership development, and public and grantee education. Since 1985, we have given more than 3,000 grants totaling nearly $24 million and helped thousands of women and girls become philanthropists. Learn more at www.cfw.org.