In the fall of 1993 Le Penseur Youth & Family Services (LPYFS) was established by Mr. Reginald Summerrise in response to the problems he observed the youth in his community were facing. Mr. Summerrise with the assistance of other colleagues brought an extensive background in human services. The experiences included; job development for ex-offenders, housing advocacy for the homeless, independent life skills for wards of the state of Illinois, coaching youth athletics, and community activism to apply to the problems of gang violence in the schools and community. Mr. Summerrise chose the name Le Penseur; French for “the thinker,” because he believed we must develop the minds of our children.
On April 15, 1995, LPYFS was incorporated in the city of Chicago. LPYFS remains committed to developing and implementing innovative programs that not only impact youth, but also provide support and training to parents. It is the agency’s hope that by providing skills to parents it will empower them and give them tools necessary to remain productive members of their community and help keep families intact.
Overall, the mission of LPYFS is to serve children and families who need assistance in maintaining or achieving their full potential for self-direction, self-reliance and independent living. Our focus is to meet the physical, emotional, social, educational, and spiritual needs of children and families without regard for race, religion, social, or economic status. LPYFS employs child and youth development specialists and educators to develop and implement programs that emphasize the connection between the health of youths, families, and communities. To achieve this mission LPYFS will continue to recognize, develop, and implement excellent services; promote critical thinking and self-independence; and ensure a family-like environment for program participants. By assuring that participants’ diverse learning needs are recognized and met, the agency will motivate and prepare them to succeed in future life endeavors. By responding to the life-long educational needs of participants LPYFS will prepare participants to live and work successfully in their communities. All of LPYFS administration and staff will be encouraged to seek advanced education and training opportunities to improve accountability and quality of service. LPYFS will exercise integrity and responsibility in fiscal management and agency direction.