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Russ Mitchell hosted Youth Opportunities Unlimited 40th Anniversary Luncheon

WKYC Studios was a media sponsor for Y.O.U.'s 40th Year Celebration
Credit: WKYC STUDIOS

CLEVELAND — Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U), a Cleveland-based nonprofit, celebrated 40 years of connecting young people to job opportunities. 3News Anchor Russ Mitchell hosted the organization’s anniversary luncheon on Thursday, April 28 at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland. The event was held from 8:45 am to 1:30 pm.

“That is very much a celebration,” said Allie Levin, communication specialist at Y.O.U. “We will be acknowledging all the efforts we made in these 40 years while also turning an eye towards the next 40 years and what we need to do to create that future we want to see for youth workforce in Northeast Ohio.”

The organization is perhaps best known for its summer youth employment program, which serves about 2,000 - 3,000 young people in Cuyahoga County each year. And according to a study done by Case Western Reserve University in 2021, participants in Y.O.U.’s program are more likely to attend school, have higher graduation rates and are less likely to be involved in crime.

In addition to its summer program, the organization also works with young people throughout the school year. The Youth Career Olympics took place at the beginning of the anniversary celebration and attendees heard from participants from Y.O.U.’s Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates program. These students showcased the business skills they’ve developed throughout the school year in team-based and solo competitive events. Competitions included community service, corporate team challenge, decision making, employment application review, employment interview, employment skills test, program cover design, public speaking, and visual display.

Below is the list of 1st place winners:

Public Speaking Winner
Evvie Chisler
School: Maple Heights Educational Career Advancement Center

Employment Test Winner
Ja’Niyah Amerson
School: Euclid High School

Application Review Winners
Caloren Henderson
School: Maple Heights Educational Career Advancement Center

Employment Interview Winners
Kenneth Jordan
John Marshall School of Civic and Business Leadership

Visual Display Winners
Angelina Perez
Max Hayes

Video Presentation Winners
Amahn Parker & Jamarlon Smith
John Marshall School of Civic and Business Leadership

Decision Making Winners
Christopher Cole
Euclid High School

Corporate Team Challenge Winners
Jylen Austin & Abel Rodriguez
John Marshall School of Information Technology

Community Service Winners
Amari Thompson
John Marshall School of Information Technology

Levin said the anniversary luncheon “gives us a great chance to show people in the community what our youth are doing. We are so proud of what we been able to accomplish in 40 years and we are so excited to deepen our practices, so we can continue to serve more of Northeast Ohio’s youth."

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