Quick Facts

Youth Connection was formed 28 years ago to be as inclusive and available as possible, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. A few of our programs – such as Art Club, Battle of the Bands, and Theater Experiences – require a low participation fee. This generally covers (at best) the salary of the staff leading the program, and we never turn anyone away due to an inability to pay. We do not want economic means to be a reason why a child is left unsupervised, uninvolved, or isolated.

Our funding primarily comes from grants from New Trier Township and Wilmette Harbor Rotary Club; individual donations (typically from current or past program users); various fundraisers, such as our annual benefit and the Wilmette Pub Crawl; participation fees; advertising revenue, and gifts from sponsors such as the PTOs.

We have very low overhead due to our long-time partnership with District 39 schools. Statistics from Youth Connection’s pending 2017 application for a grant from Wilmette Harbor Rotary Club demonstrate our budget:

Youth Connection’s budget was $81,300 for the 2016-2017 school year. The costs were:

$65,400, or 80% for program staff and expenses
$8,000, or 10% for essential contract or professional services related to programming
$7,100, or 9% for operating expenses
$800, or 1% for fundraising activities

Statistics from our successful 2016 New Trier Township grant application draw a good picture of how many students “dropped in” over the course of the 2015-2016 school year (bear in mind winter weather can have an effect on attendance):

RAD: average daily attendance = 33 students (5th-6th grade)
164 different individual students attended a total of 4,352 days (Sept-April)

DEN: average daily attendance = 24 students (7th-8th grade)
193 different individual students attended a total of 3,728 days (Sept-April)

Homework Club WJHS: average daily attendance = 11 students (7th-8th grade)
189 different individual students attended a total of 1,148 days

Homework Club HMS: average daily attendance = 10 students (5th-6th grade)
74 different individual students attended a total of 813 days


The Spring Musical Shrek, Jr. included a cast and crew of 40.
The Battle of the Bands included 22 participants and approx. 200 attendees.