Chicago Voyagers

Guiding Youth on Their Journey

Palatine, IL   |  http://chicagovoyagers.org

Mission

Empowering at-risk youth through outdoor experiential adventures that foster healthy relationships and responsible behavior.

Ruling year info

2002

Executive Director

Mr Bernard Rupe

Main address

318 N Elmwood Ln

Palatine, IL 60067 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Trips for Kids Fox Valley

EIN

75-2986724

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Other Recreation, Sports, or Leisure Activities N.E.C. (N99)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are working to address inequities in society - giving at-risk youth opportunities and helping them avoid gangs and violence.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Chicago Voyagers

Chicago Voyagers builds caring relationships and provides opportunities to explore, discover and grow. When guided on outdoor adventures, teens develop the confidence and problem-solving skills they need to approach life’s challenges and become successful, healthy leaders.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

We provide community based adventure therapy services to low income, at-risk youth.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 2002

Association of Experiential Education 2012

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants reporting change in behavior or cessation of activity

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Chicago Voyagers

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the total number of youth we serve times the percentage who are rated as having behavioral changes (top 2 box, very good or excellent). In 2020, we served fewer youth due to COVID

Number of customers reporting satisfaction with program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Chicago Voyagers

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is a percentage of customers who rate us top 2 box on evaluations (very good or excellent).

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Victims and oppressed people, Adolescents, People of African descent, People of Latin American descent

Related Program

Chicago Voyagers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Note: we made a decision to serve less youth, but serve them deeper for a greater impact.

Hours of mentoring

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Chicago Voyagers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the total hours of services provided mentoring and serving our teens (number of hours of each program x number of teens)

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Adventure Therapy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are number of adventure therapy programs.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As rated by chaperones - good or better in teamwork growth for the group.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is to empower at-risk youth through outdoor experiential adventures that foster healthy relationships and responsible behavior.

We have developed a program which uses outdoor adventure therapy programs as a means to reach low income, youth of color in the Chicago area. These youth are typically hard to engage and our program offers a unique attraction to engage them. Once in our programs, we utilize specific strategies and interventions to help our youth grow in three key areas which are important to them becoming a healthy, successful adult. Examples of strategies we utilize are peer leader, matching up adults and youth for activities, asking youth to step up to take care of themselves, teaching skills to the youth and utilizing discussions to provide feedback.

We have developed a team of 8 program staff and a system which is expandable. We have the equipment needed to grow and there are 70,000 teens living in poverty in our service area. We are actively working on expanding our capacity and have engaged a capacity building consultant. We have grown over 100% in three years.

We have grown to serve 400 youth a year. We have a strong model which has successfully served these youth. In order to continue to grow and serve more youth, we need to expand our organization overall capacity - marketing, bookkeeping, program management, and so forth. A key part of what we need to go to grow to the next stage is to expand our revenue generating capacity. In 2019, we added a full time Director of Programs and a Grants Manager and we have expanded our program team. Our current Director of Development joined Chicago Voyagers in 2022. These positions have allowed us to secure more funding for programs and to deliver better quality programs overall. We have shifted our focus to our Journey model which allows us to work with the same group of teens over a 6-9 month period increasing our impact. In 2019 we also piloted the Voyage program with a few of our partners. The Voyage program aims to work with the same group of teens over several years.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    low income youth of color

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Our youth have been largely impacted by the pandemic - learning about their struggles and giving them a voice has been part of us helping them adjust and manage the experience.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Chicago Voyagers
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Chicago Voyagers

Board of directors
as of 03/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr James Kastenholz

Kasenholz Construction

Term: 2024 - 2022

Juan Ascencio

Chicago Public Schools

Jorge de Leon

Addison Trail High School

Bernard Rupe

Chicago Voyagers

Randy Pfeifer

Cleversafe

Jim Kastenholtz

Kastenholtz Construction

Dan Coyne

School Disctrict 65

Sadiki McCalla

HSBC

Lynn Strachura

retired

Silvia Grabacki

retired

Dave Saunders

School Dist 211

Patrick Burke

High Dive Advertising

Debbie Johnson

Am Hospital Assoc

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/8/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/08/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.