Y.O.U.’s Inspire Fellows Program

Y.O.U. is seeking talented, caring undergraduate and graduate students to partake in its Inspire Fellowship Program, a summer learning opportunity. The fellowship offers graduate and upper-undergraduate students a full-time opportunity to learn best-practices in youth development and to prepare for a career in youth development, education, or the non-profit sector.


Inspire Fellows serve as workshop leaders and counselors for Y.O.U.'s nine-week summer learning program. Fellows are chosen to develop and facilitate specific workshops in one area such as the arts, literature, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), or recreational activities. Additionally, all fellows help lead discussions and workshops on life skills topics.

“The most rewarding aspect is the most challenging - working with the youth to push them past their comfort zone in a positive manner so that they learn and cultivate an attitude of learning. When this happens, if even only for a short period of time or if they get close to trying new things in an inquisitive and determined way, it feels meaningful. I feel as if I have impacted them for good.”

— 2015 INSPIRE Fellow

The Fellowship runs full time from June 6th through August 5th . The first week offers Fellows a comprehensive orientation and training on Y.O.U., non-profit management, and positive youth development. The next nine weeks consist of high-impact summer programming. 

Primary responsibilities of Inspire Fellows include:

  • Develop and facilitate youth activities in your chosen area that promote academic, social, and emotional development
  • Supervise youth activities in a safe, sensitive, developmentally appropriate, positive manner
  • Maintain positive, supportive relationships with youth
  • Nurture supportive relationships with parents, school administrators, teachers, students, and community representatives
  • Develop and maintain good working relationships with supervisors, coworkers, and volunteers within Y.O.U., and with others in the community who offer information about, resources for, or services to young people in Evanston
  • Maintain timely and accurate records concerning youth participation and outcomes
  • Identify and recommend opportunities for continuous improvement in Y.O.U. programming

The Fellowship experience offers a unique opportunity for growth for students thinking about a career in youth development, education, the arts, or non-profits. Fellows are provided supervision through both formal and informal feedback to help them grow. In this way, fellows develop their leadership skills, enhance their understanding of youth development, and build their non-profit management skills.

The Inspire Fellow should have the following qualifications:

  • Experience in and passion for youth services
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including the ability to work with a diverse group of team members and youth
  • Extraordinary teamwork and leadership skills
  • Passion for Y.O.U.'s mission of ensuring that all youth have the resources they need to thrive
  • Personal qualities of integrity and credibility
  • Be actively seeking or have already obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree

The Fellowship offers a stipend. (Y.O.U. is also glad to provide documentation to any students who receive support from their universities for summer employment with a non-profit organization). Students should be local to the Chicagoland area and must have reasonable transportation to Evanston, Skokie, and Morton Grove to participate.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis between February and May. Please email Becky Moore, HR Coordinator at bmoore@youthopportunity.org with questions.