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About Us

Mis­sion

We part­ner with com­mu­ni­ties
to sup­port peo­ple of all ages
to nav­i­gate life’s chal­lenges
through per­son­al­ized pre­ven­tion,
inter­ven­tion, treat­ment, and recovery.

Vision

Togeth­er We Thrive.

Our Work

Ken­neth Young Cen­ter is a 501(c)(3) not-for-prof­it fos­ter­ing health­i­er com­mu­ni­ties through: 

  • Coun­sel­ing for adults, chil­dren, families
  • Assess­ment, sta­bi­liza­tion, link­age for adults/​children in psy­chi­atric crisis
  • Treat­ment, sup­port, and recov­ery ser­vices for those with seri­ous men­tal illness
  • Ser­vice coor­di­na­tion and in-home ser­vices for old­er adults
  • Sub­stance use pre­ven­tion and recovery
  • Alco­hol, drug, and preg­nan­cy pre­ven­tion pro­grams for youth
  • LGBTQ+ Cen­ter for youth and young adults
  • Vol­un­teer opportunities

We are accred­it­ed by the Joint Com­mis­sion, a nation­al­ly respect­ed body with strin­gent stan­dards of excel­lence in healthcare.

Board of Directors

  • Vid Byanna, IT Advisory, Strategy and Transformation Consulting
  • Elizabeth Demaret, President, Carrier Services, Sedgwick
  • Eileen Gillespie, Principal, Huron Consulting
  • Dominice LaPorte, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Mather
  • Eliana Mejia-Zielinski, Executive Director, Ascension Living Casa Scalabrini Village
  • Kyle Rettberg, Partner & General Counsel, Neal, Gerber, & Eisenberg LLP
  • Elizabeth J Stigler, PhD, Director of Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging at the American College of Chest Physicians
  • R.J. Zielinski, Chief Financial Officer, The Admiral at the Lake

KYC is proud to be accept­ing appli­ca­tions for our Board of Direc­tors. To learn more, please click here.

Lead­er­ship Team

  • Grace Hong Duffin, President and Chief Executive Officer
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    Grace Hong Duffin

    President and Chief Executive Officer

    Grace started her time at KYC in March 2016 as Chief Operating Officer and was named Chief Executive Officer in August 2018. Prior to KYC, Grace spent a significant portion of her career working for the State of Illinois. She served as a Senior Policy Adviser and Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Human Services, where she helped manage an almost $6 billion budget and was responsible for approximately 13,000 employees. She ensured Illinois residents received direct services including access to public benefits, community health programs, services for people with disabilities, and behavioral health programs. As the consummate public servant, Grace also spent 8 years working as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney assisting victims of crimes. She was drawn to KYC’s diverse mission, compassionate commitment to clients, and immense growth potential. Grace is continuously amazed by the wonderful work and dedication of the staff.

    Grace has her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University, Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. When not at KYC, Grace and her husband love to spend time with their three children.

  • Steven Gaydos, Chief Financial Officer
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    Steven Gaydos

    Chief Financial Officer

    Steve joined the KYC team in January 2024, taking on the role of Chief Financial Officer. Steve spent the first part of his professional career as a healthcare consultant. While serving as a Board member of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, Steve discovered a passion for mission-driven financial work. This led him to become the Director of Finance and Administration at Catholic Charities. Later, Steve brought his expertise to All Chicago Making Homelessness History as Chief Financial and Operations Officer. At both organizations, he played a key role in substantial financial growth and operational improvements, earning recognition as a “CFO of the Year” by the Daily Herald in 2015. Inspired by KYC's mission, Steve feels honored to be chosen as its first CFO.

    Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from DePaul University. He is a licensed CPA and received the Elijah Watt Sells Award and the Illinois Bronze Medal for his performance on the CPA exam. Outside of KYC, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. He is actively involved in his church, contributing his musical talents to the church choir by singing and playing soprano saxophone.

  • Mike Brown, Director of Facilities
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    Mike Brown

    Director of Facilities

    Mike joined the KYC Leadership Team in 2017 as the Environment of Care/Facilities Manager, overseeing the buildings' and grounds' maintenance at our four office locations. Mike has a long history of service, most recently as the Facilities Director for a local school district, overseeing the operations of buildings for kids aged 5-14 and ensuring the architecture, engineering, and life-safety needs of the district were fulfilled. He’s also worked as a Building Commissioner for a municipality and Construction Manager for a nonprofit building homes for low-income families. With each job, Mike has found joy in providing quality customer service and safe environments for people of all ages to live, learn, and grow. When coming to KYC, Mike wanted to join a team of professionals with a shared commitment to service. “Every life helped improves clients’ happiness, their family’s togetherness, and the world’s goodness,” says Mike.

    Mike has his Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Indiana University and is a Certified in Construction Building Operations and a Certified Property Maintenance Manager. When not at KYC, Mike is an involved member of his church, spends time with his family, and is active in the outdoors.

  • Crissy Castillo, Director of Older Adult Division
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    Crissy Castillo

    Director of Older Adult Division

    Crissy came to KYC in 2006 as a Choices for Care Screener on the Older Adults Team, completing nursing home prescreen evaluations at Alexian Brothers Medical Center. In 2009, she was promoted to become the Choices for Care Program Team Lead, overseeing and growing the program for five years. Leaving KYC for just a few months in 2016, Crissy returned to be the Director of Older Adult Services, advocating for clients while leading the Older Adults Division. “KYC puts clients first and goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we serve our clients” said Crissy.

    Crissy got her Bachelor’s degree at Northeastern Illinois University and a Master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, both in Social Work. When not at KYC, Crissy can be found with her husband Arnie and two young children, Sophia and Santino.

  • Kate Garbarek, Director of Development and Communications
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    Kate Garbarek

    Director of Development and Communications

    Kate joined the KYC Team in 2016 after managing the Friendship Senior Options Foundation in Schaumburg. With over a decade of experience in fundraising and communications, as well as a degree in Strategic Communication from Miami University, Kate continued her education at the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and received her Certificate in Fund Raising Management.

    Within her role, Kate oversees the fundraising, community outreach, and marketing for KYC's programs and services. When not at KYC, Kate is an avid traveler, gardener, and tennis player.

  • Dr. Jerry Gibbons, Medical Director
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    Dr. Jerry Gibbons

    Medical Director

    Since 2000, Dr. Gibbons has served KYC as a psychiatrist and then Medical Director. As a Licensed Physician and Surgeon, Dr. Gibbons works closely with KYC staff and patients to ensure quality medical care and medication monitoring. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College, Dr. Gibbons completed his pre-medical studies at Loyola University and became a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois. Dr. Gibbons completed an internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Family Medicine and pursued his psychiatry residency at Northwestern University Medical School. He is a member of American Psychiatric Association, Illinois Psychiatric Society, and the American Medical Association. “I have dedicated much of my career to KYC because of our commitment to serve clients in need, regardless of their ability to pay. The client always comes first.”

    Dr. Gibbons enjoys golf, exercise, travel and working on home improvement projects with his wife Laura.

  • Lisa Hendrickson, LCSW, Director of Recovery Services
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    Lisa Hendrickson, LCSW

    Director of Recovery Services

    Lisa joined KYC in 2007, beginning her work as a Vocational Counselor supporting adults with disabilities as they found and maintained employment. She transitioned to support the opening of Myers Place, KYC’s first permanent supportive housing development, and was quickly promoted to develop KYC's new Community Support Team services. Lisa has served as the Director of Community Living since 2020 and oversees a variety of community-based programming across the Northwest Suburbs, including intensive support to adults with serious mental illness and PRIME services under the Williams & Colbert Consent Decrees that support individuals transitioning from institutions into independent housing in the community. Outside of her work at KYC, Lisa worked in the criminal justice system, advocating for the fair treatment and improved living conditions for incarcerated persons in Illinois prison system, specifically transgender and intersex individuals who are at especially high risk.

    Lisa received her Masters in Social Work from the University of St. Francis and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. When not at KYC, she volunteers on the Board of the Center for Advancing Domestic Peace and is a passionate scuba diver.

  • John Horsley, LCSW, MSW, MBA, Director of Outpatient Services
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    John Horsley, LCSW, MSW, MBA

    Director of Outpatient Services

    John joined KYC as the Director of Outpatient Services in 2022, overseeing behavioral health programs for youth and adults. Prior to KYC, he spent more than a decade at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center in various leadership positions, most recently as the Vice President of Adult and Addiction Services. He established peer services, an opioid mobile crisis program, same-day access services, and their mobile crisis unit. John also taught various graduate courses at Indiana University School of Social Work, in addition to providing field clinical supervision to post graduate students.

    John received his Bachelor of General Studies and Master of Social Work at Indiana University, and a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from Western Governors University. Outside of his work at KYC, John enjoys spending time with his family, watching/participating in various sports, and spending time outdoors backpacking or kayaking.

  • Jonathan McKay, Director of New Business Development
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    Jonathan McKay

    Director of New Business Development

    Jonathan joined KYC in early 2019 as New Business Development Director to help expand our capabilities to better serve our community and leverage the talent at KYC. Jonathan brings decades of experience ranging from being a partner in a leading management consulting firm, to being a professor at Northwestern University, to being an executive in several startups. He has also volunteered in numerous community-based organizations spanning education, churches, and poverty alleviation.

    Jonathan has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an engineering degree from Pennsylvania State. When not at KYC, he loves being dad to his two sons and their buddies.

  • Gongmin Mou, Technology Director
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    Gongmin Mou

    Technology Director

    Gongmin has worked at Kenneth Young Center since 1997, developing CIS, a nationally certified electronic health record system. As CIS’s founder and KYC’s Technology Director, Gongmin oversees the daily operation of data collection and processing for all behavioral health services, as well as the technology needs for the agency.

    Gongmin was a Ph.D. Candidate at Northern Illinois University with a concentration in Information Management in Government and has a Masters of Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shandong University in Jinan, China.

  • Linda Springer, Senior Clinical Director
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    Linda Springer

    Senior Clinical Director

    Linda Springer is Senior Clinical Director of Behavioral Health at the Kenneth Young Center with 36 years of experience helping people with behavioral health challenges recover, thrive and live their best lives.

    Linda began her tenure at KYC in 1987 where her journey commenced as a Crisis Services therapist that provided comprehensive counseling encompassing individual, family, couple and group therapy for both children and adults.

    Linda has held various leadership positions in her three plus decades at KYC. In 1998 she was appointed Manager of Adult Services heralding a pivotal role where she provided robust leadership and direction to the Adult Services Team. In 2008 Linda moved into the Director role for all Adult Outpatient and Recovery services where she facilitated the expansion of services to include a Drop in Center, CST, and ACT services. Under Linda’s leadership KYC became a prime agency and provides transitional services for Colbert and Williams Consent Decree members. Front Door diversion services were added as well. A need was determined for Substance Use Services thus Linda led the way for KYC to attain their SUPR license and KYC now provides intensive outpatient services to both adults and adolescents struggling with substance use issues.

    In 2019 Linda took over oversight of all clinical programming at KYC which included all Child and Adolescent services as well as crisis services. Under Linda’s leadership expansion in Child and Adolescent and Crisis services also transpired. Multiple school counseling programs were implemented, KYC became a CCSO and Pathway services were implemented. Linda oversaw the addition of Mobile Crisis Response services under the 590 grant and most currently is overseeing the development of a Living Room.

    Work force development has been a passion for Linda in her career directing the intern program at KYC from 1989 to 2014. She provided clinical supervision to post graduates for many years and shaped the program into an outstanding experience for students coming into the field of community mental health. She was an Adjunct Faculty Lecturer at Northwestern University from 1996-2000. She currently sits on the Advisory Council for the Human Services Department at College of DuPage in particular support of the CRSS training program.

    Linda’s unwavering dedication, from her inception in 1987 to her current pivotal role, stands as a testament to her invaluable contribution to KYC and the individuals it serves.

    Linda has her Master of Science in Psychology from Western Illinois University and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

    When not a KYC, Linda enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and spending time outdoors camping and hiking.

  • Elaine Vinson, Director of Talent and Culture
  • Elaine Vinson

    Director of Talent and Culture

    Elaine joined the KYC Leadership Team in March, 2024, bringing 30 years of human resources experience to support KYC’s growing team. Specializing in the healthcare industry and for nonprofit organizations, Elaine’s broad experience includes talent acquisition and recruitment, employee relations and culture building, performance and change management, and more. Most recently, she served as the Director of Human Resources for Community First Medical Center in Chicago, building strong and diverse teams that effectively and compassionately serve others.

    Elaine earned both her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science as well as her Master of Public Administration from Iowa State University. While not at KYC, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Annu­al Reports

Our annu­al report out­lines the high­lights of our fis­cal year: July 1 to June 30

2019 Annu­al Report

2018 Annu­al Report

2017 Annu­al Report

2016 Annu­al Report

2015 Annu­al Report

2014 Annu­al Report

Who Was Ken­neth Young?

Kenneth Young Headshot

Kenneth Young was a dedicated Board Member and community leader for our organization and the agency took his name in honor of his service.

Ken­neth Wayne Young played many roles in his life: hus­band, father, pas­tor, mil­i­tary man, schol­ar, advi­sor, friend. He was many things to many peo­ple. He loved to preach and give speech­es, and when he spoke, every­one lis­tened. He had a way of mak­ing each lis­ten­er feel as if he was speak­ing just to them. He had a spir­it that cap­ti­vat­ed oth­ers and inspired great­ness. He knew when to lead and when to let oth­ers shine as lead­ers. Over thir­ty years after his death, those who knew him talk about him with warmth, rev­er­ence, and always a smile.

But one of Ken’s great­est titles had to be com­mu­ni­ty activist”. Dur­ing deseg­re­ga­tion, he fought to inte­grate his com­mu­ni­ty in Cicero, Illi­nois. He worked tire­less­ly for the Fam­i­ly Ser­vice Cen­ter there to give equal rights to peo­ple of all col­ors, believ­ing to his core that every human being had the right to be cared for and respected. 

When his fam­i­ly moved to Hoff­man Estates, he worked as Pas­tor of Our Sav­iour’s Unit­ed Methodist Church and quick­ly got involved with the Elk Grove-Schaum­burg Town­ship Men­tal Health Cen­ter, which would lat­er be renamed in his mem­o­ry as Ken­neth Young Cen­ter. An ide­al­ist and rev­o­lu­tion­ary at heart, he vol­un­teered for the cen­ter as a mem­ber of the board, becom­ing a trust­ed advi­sor to the CEO and lead­er­ship team. At that time, the cen­ter focused exclu­sive­ly on men­tal health ser­vices, advo­cat­ing for the most vul­ner­a­ble in the com­mu­ni­ty to have access to qual­i­ty and com­pas­sion­ate men­tal health care. Despite years of his own health prob­lems, Ken’s tena­cious spir­it nev­er fal­tered. He tried to nev­er miss a Sun­day at the pul­pit and helped at the cen­ter when­ev­er pos­si­ble. At 60 years old, Ken passed away from can­cer in Octo­ber, 1986. Just months lat­er, the cen­ter where he spent so much of his time got a new name: Ken­neth Young Center. 

The rest, KYC friends, is history.

You're Not Alone

50%
of cas­es of men­tal ill­ness begin by age 14.

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