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Lat­inx Par­ent Sup­port for Pos­i­tive Youth Development

by Mario Núñez, Project Associate

The role of parents/​guardians is para­mount in the devel­op­ment of youth. A net­work of sup­port pro­vides a nec­es­sary tool in help­ing youth development.

Con­sid­er­ing this need, we are hap­py to announce that we now pro­vide a Lat­inx Par­ent Sup­port Group which meets again on Novem­ber 20th, from 2 — 4 PM at Oasis Mobile Home Park locat­ed at 7500 Elmhurst Rd, Des Plaines 60018. This new, non-clin­i­cal group meets month­ly and dis­cuss­es var­i­ous issues relat­ed to sup­port­ing Lat­inx youth and par­ents resid­ing in the Elk Grove Vil­lage community.

The Lat­inx Par­ent Sup­port Group is pre­sent­ed by KYC staff Mario Nunez. Mario works on our junior high after-school pro­gram, Teen REACH, that focus­es on pro­vid­ing ser­vices to stu­dents who need extra aca­d­e­m­ic, social, or behav­ioral sup­port. The Lat­inx Par­ent Sup­port Group will also be part­ner­ing with Elk Grove High School Coun­selor Ray­mun­do Galarza to fur­ther dis­cuss impor­tant dis­cus­sion top­ics par­ents are fac­ing around the Elk Grove area.

Impor­tant dis­cus­sion top­ics include behav­ioral issues in mid­dle school and high school as well as the impact of gang vio­lence and depres­sion affect­ing chil­dren and teens. Now more than ever, our com­mu­ni­ty needs resources and strate­gies to address chal­lenges, and we hope our Lat­inx Par­ent Sup­port Group is the begin­ning of a lot of pos­i­tive change.

The phrase, it takes a vil­lage to raise a child”, is more rel­e­vant now than in pre­vi­ous years. After almost two years of iso­la­tion brought on by the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, anx­i­ety and social behav­ior issues have dras­ti­cal­ly increased. More and more schools are strug­gling to deal with the stress being put on stu­dents in a post-pan­dem­ic environment.

There has been an increase in vio­lence and emo­tion­al dis­tress among the CPYD Coali­tion ser­vice area. In fact, accord­ing to research con­duct­ed by the U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, this aggres­sive and gen­er­al­ly dis­rup­tive behav­ior has increased among schools across the country.

Fur­ther­more, we have encoun­tered many dif­fi­cul­ties in sup­port­ing the youth with­in the school sys­tem and those same dif­fi­cul­ties are being faced with­in the house­hold. Par­ents share the same strug­gles as the school­ing sys­tem but it adds more stress onto the par­ents as they do not have sim­i­lar resources in cop­ing with these sit­u­a­tions. This rea­son­ing fur­ther increas­es the neces­si­ty of cre­at­ing sup­port net­works for par­ents in main­tain­ing pos­i­tive youth development.

There are many dif­fi­cul­ties faced by the already mar­gin­al­ized Lat­inx com­mu­ni­ty. The U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion has report­ed that the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic has increased the gap in edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties and increased the lev­el of stress for stu­dents that are learn­ing Eng­lish. Lat­inx stu­dents have one of the high­est lev­els of feel­ing iso­lat­ed and lone­ly in schools post-pandemic.

As Lat­inx stu­dents face fur­ther dif­fi­cul­ties in an edu­ca­tion sys­tem that already is dif­fi­cult, com­mu­ni­ty sup­port is need­ed. Research strong­ly demon­strates that Lat­inx youth ben­e­fit from both infor­mal and for­mal sys­tems of sup­port. A com­mu­ni­ty sup­port net­work allows for an infor­mal form of sup­port that works as a strength for stu­dents in reach­ing aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ments that are already dif­fi­cult for Lat­inx com­mu­ni­ties. A sup­port group cre­ates a clos­er bond between par­ent and stu­dent that would ben­e­fit great­ly in devel­op­ing pos­i­tive youth development. 

Dur­ing the time of this pan­dem­ic, hav­ing resources like par­ent sup­port groups can bring about a huge impact on a community’s well-being. We hope that the KYC Lat­inx Par­ent Sup­port Group strength­ens the Elk Grove par­ent com­mu­ni­ty by being a space of learn­ing, reflec­tion, and resource sharing. 

The Lat­inx Par­ent Sup­port Group meets again on Novem­ber 20th, 2 — 4 PM at Oasis Mobile Home Park locat­ed at 7500 Elmhurst Rd, Des Plaines 60018. For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Mario.


Belsha, K. (2021, Sep­tem­ber 27). Schools strug­gling with behav­ior issues as stu­dents return. Chalk­beat. https://​www​.chalk​beat​.org/2021

Gold­berg, S., 2021. Edu­ca­tion in a Pan­dem­ic: The Dis­parate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Stu­dents. [ebook] Wash­ing­ton D.C: U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion. Avail­able at: <; [Accessed 9 June 2021].

LeFevre AL, Shaw TV. Lati­no Par­ent Involve­ment and School Suc­cess: Lon­gi­tu­di­nal Effects of For­mal and Infor­mal Sup­port. Edu­ca­tion and Urban Soci­ety. 2012;44(6):707 – 723. doi:10.1177/0013124511406719

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of cas­es of men­tal ill­ness begin by age 14.

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