Barriers down, one young person at a time

KalaishaMission: to help remove barriers for underserved, disenfranchised and at-risk youth while at the same time improving their lives.

Founder and President of the No Youth Left Behind Foundation of America Dr. Carroll Cooks envisioned a way to “empower youth through education, training, workforce development and community by creating quality human experiences with educational youth programs and activities,” according to the NYLB booklet brochure.

Visiting the organization, based around the Oak Park area, was an eye-opening experience. From the outside, the building looks small and intimate. But once you step inside, the vastness of the space takes you by surprise.

The room is mounted with contributor plaques on every wall. Tables and signs show the active attitude the organization maintains as it encourages youth-directed change in the community.

Currently, the group is launching a campaign for the traditional media and even presidential candidates to recognize young people — and consider youthful opinions and the issues our younger neighbors struggle with.

The organization really speaks to me because our young people today have fallen into situations both voluntary and involuntary. They need our attention and help.

NYLB has an inspiring cause. We can’t allow anyone to fall behind.

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