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.

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.

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.

Kim Frank

Kim Frank started volunteering with Youth Outlook when it was the Questioning Youth Center and transitioned to Intern in 2012 while getting her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northeastern IL University.  She launched the Palatine site for the Transcend program in May of 2015 and joined the North Suburban Community Network with Youth Outlook this Spring. Kim is currently the project manager for a  non-profit organization providing services to children and families throughout the state of IL.  On the weekends she provides training for adults working in youth ministry and facilitates a youth leadership program in the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Heather Francis

Heather has always enjoyed working with youth of all ages, holding a Bachelors of Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University and having taught elementary music to over 1800 public school students. She trained as a Youth Outlook volunteer in October 2016, as her beloved Cubs were marching toward their historic World Series championship, in anticipation of the Ottawa Drop-In Center’s opening. Heather is excited to be a part of the growing safe, supportive, celebratory space that is the Ottawa Drop-In Center.

Danny Julius

Danny’s involvement with Youth Outlook spans several years as a youth participant, youth leader, volunteer, and presently as the Transcend Program Assistant. In this role, Danny facilitates groups centering around education and support for transgender youth in the Aurora/Naperville area. Danny brings a strong background in supporting the LGBTQ community, coupled with experience as a preschool teacher. Danny is currently completing courses in pursuit of his Bachelor of Social Work.

AJ Draper

AJ is the site coordinator for Youth Outlook-Elgin. They started working for Youth Outlook when the site opened and has now been operating the site for a year and a half with a core group of great youth and the program is growing! AJ chose to work with Youth Outlook because they believe everyone has a voice and should have a safe space where they can be themselves and find friendship and community! Our LGBTQ+ youth are often overlooked and underserved so it is important. AJ has learned so much from the youth and looks forward to more collective learning and growing. AJ’s background is in strengths based management/positive psychology and they currently also work for another non-profit serving younger children. In their free time, AJ loves spending time outdoors bicycling or kayaking and watching sports and also spending time with their niece and nephew.

Diane Clement

Diane is an organized and proactive Administrative Assistant new to Youth Outlook in 2019.  Proficient in Finance and Business Administration providing optimal assistance to staff in obtaining organizational goals.  Diane is committed and eager to perform all duties required by the staff offering professional administrative and clerical support to enhance the operations of Youth Outlook.