Channeling Hope through Bremen Youth Services

Bremen Youth Services (BYS) BYS is a not-for-profit agency which has served the community for the past 35 years, formerly under the name of the Bremen Township Committee on Youth (BTCY) and Counseling and Social Services of Bremen (CSSB). Because of conflicts with young people and their families, in school, with police, and with the community, Bremen evolved solely for the purpose of helping young people deal with tough times in their life and giving them the support they need.

Walking in the doors of Bremen Youth Services, the waiting area is replete with colorful puzzles and oversized, comfy couches– and an instant feeling of being “safe at home” takes over. Once inside, you are greeted by a  lovable   and large, chocolate lab named Hope; the name aptly chosen by the children supported through BYS’s programs. As we gathered around the foyer in those same comfy couches Donald Sebek, Executive Director, introduced his team and their services.

Bremen Youth Services focuses on:

  • COUNSELING with families, groups and individuals
  • CRISES INTERVENTION providing immediate services when needed
  • COMPREHENSIVE REFERRAL SERVICE listing human services in our area
  • ALCOHOLISM & SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAMS administering DASA treatment & prevention grants, Operation Snowball
  • COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAM providing speakers for community groups and organizations
  • CAMP & SUMMER PROGRAMS providing self-esteem building experiences and opportunities
  • MENTOR PROGRAM

Don and his team have done great work implementing teen pregnancy prevention in four local high schools, as well as two middle schools with the tag lines “Be Proud, Be Responsible” and “Making Proud Choices,” respectively. Unfortunately, though they assist approximately 600 clients annually, BYS has seen a rise in substance abuse, grief and loss, depression and anxiety amongst youth. To help combat those issues, Bremen provides an excellent SUMMER EXPRESSIVE THERAPY GROUP, using forms of art, movement/dance, music, and various outdoor recreational activities to help youth learn healthy and creative coping skills to deal effectively with anger, sadness, boredom, anxiety, hyperactivity, and  impulsivity.

Operating out of its own facility, Bremen Youth Services serves as more than a change agent for youth. Connecting with Bremen Township, the first floor of their new facility is used for the township’s senior lunch program by day and for their Expressive Therapy by night. Since 1964, Bremen has positively impacted young people’s lives. You can experience of many of their success stories here.

How can you help? Bremen Youth Services is always looking for mentors and volunteers, especially those with the qualifications to handle cases. For more information, please visit bremenyouthservices.org.

Blog post submitted on behalf of  Jessica Plechaty, Fundraising Manager at South-Southwest Suburban United Way.

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