The Staff and Volunteers of Youth Outlook

The staff at Youth Outlook is made up of social workers, nonprofit professionals, and a large group of incredibly dedicated volunteers.

Nancy Mullen, MSW
(Pronouns Interchangeable)

Nancy came to Youth Outlook in 1998, hired as the agency’s first executive director. When she arrived, Youth Outlook (then known as QYC) had two drop-in centers running–one in Hinsdale and one in Aurora. She has helped the agency grow just a bit since 1998. There are now eight drop-in centers in four counties, a youth leadership program, a healthy relationships program, a peer-led HIV prevention program and a thriving community education program. Nancy holds a Social Work degree from Syracuse University, where she focused in Family Mental Health. Nancy is the only full time employee, leading a staff of part time program assistants and about 50 volunteers each month to deliver services to an estimated 125 youth per week.

Nancy Carlson

Nancy is a retired social worker. For most of her career she was leading staff and volunteers in efforts to end violence and promote social justice. Some of these roles include running youth programs in El Paso, Texas to help end poverty and cultural discrimination, development and leading the rape crisis center for DuPage County, helping to develop a treatment and monitoring program for juvenile sex offenders who were wards of the state, working as a policy advisor for the Illinois Attorney General on violence against women, and managing a psychiatric clinic and residential facilities for the seriously mentally ill. Now retired, she enjoys gardening, her three grandchildren, and continuing the fight for social justice with Youth Outlook.

Andrea Drott

Andrea received her Masters of Education in Counseling from Northern Illinois University. She joined Youth Outlook in November of 2007 and has been making “youth leadery” ever since. As the Youth Leadership Coordinator she trains and coordinates the youth leaders at all of the Youth Outlook drop-in centers. She loves working with the youth and hopes that they learn as much from her as she does from them.

Victoria Graff, MSEd, LPC

Vicky began working for Youth Outlook, then QYC, while completing her internship for her Masters in Counseling from Northern Illinois University.   She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works as a Middle School Counselor, by day.  She feels fortunate to have spent nearly every Monday night for over a decade with Youth Outlook Youth as DeKalb Program Assistant.

Marcus Hamilton

Marcus has been the POL (Popular Opinion Leader) Coordinator since 2011. As POL Coordinator,  he runs a Social HIV Risk Reduction program for youth (13-29). His goal is to educate young people about STD prevention, safer sex practices, and general sexual health issues.  Also, he hopes to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues, particularly in regards to sexual health.

Matt Lonski

Matt helps run the Safe Spot program at Clinton Rosette Middle School. He loves working with the middle school youth and is very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach and work with them. In 2013 as an intern for Youth Outlook, Matt constructed an Ally Training for School Personnel program that he presented for a DeKalb district 428 workshop. Matt will also present his Ally Training at the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference. This conference is the largest LGBTQAI college conference in the nation.

Karol Teal

Karol is a Sauk Valley Community College liberal arts graduate.  She learned about Youth Outlook from a PFLAG Sauk Valley meeting.  After being trained in Spring 2010, she volunteered at the DeKalb drop-in site. Fall 2011 brought an opportunity to bring Youth Outlook to the Sauk Valley area and Karol took the lead as Program Assistant.

Carolyn Wahlskog, MSW, LSW

Carolyn, former Youth Outlook intern, now runs the Transcend program. Carolyn holds a Masters in Social Work from University of Illinois at Chicago and works with youth experiencing homelessness. She is active in community organizing through the DuPage Community Network and the Gender Expansive Youth Network, supporting professionals and community organizations in updating their policies and practices to be safe and affirming to trans and non-binary folks.

Carrie Noe

Carrie has a strong background in non-profit development, grant writing and developing strategic partnerships.  Carrie holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Carrie is devoted to social justice and is involved in disability advocacy and works to engage children in life long philanthropy. 

Peter Thaddeus

Peter’s involvement with Youth Outlook began in 2000 when he was a youth participant in the Aurora drop in center.  After graduating college and starting his art career, he volunteered to support the Naperville drop-in center on Tuesday nights. He was hired to be a site leader/Program Assistant at the Naperville drop-in center in 2015. Peter is a professional artist who incorporates art and creativity into drop-in center group activities.  He also leads the healthy relationships program at the Naperville drop-in center. Being a part of Youth Outlook has given Peter the opportunity to unite his two life passions: artistic expression, and the forward movement of the LGBTQ+ community.