Latino Youth High School

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Latino Youth High School
Students and staff of Latino Youth Alternative High School.jpg
Latino Youth High School is located in Chicago
Latino Youth High School
Latino Youth High School
Latino Youth High School is located in Chicago metropolitan area
Latino Youth High School
Latino Youth High School
Latino Youth High School is located in Illinois
Latino Youth High School
Latino Youth High School
Latino Youth High School is located in the US
Latino Youth High School
Latino Youth High School
2001 S. California Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60608
United States
Coordinates 41°51′17″N 87°41′43″W / 41.854651°N 87.695318°W / 41.854651; -87.695318Coordinates: 41°51′17″N 87°41′43″W / 41.854651°N 87.695318°W / 41.854651; -87.695318
Type Charter
Motto Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, and Engagement.
School district Chicago Public Schools
Director James J. Hurlburt
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 200
Color(s)           Maroon, Tan
Mascot Gecko
Nickname the Fighting Geckos

Latino Youth High School (LYHS) is a public charter high school that was established in 1974 as a program of Latino Youth, Inc. to address the problem of high dropout rates among children in the Pilsen / Little Village community.[1]


Latino Youth High School started as a division of Latino Youth, Inc. (originally Latino Youth Drug Intervention Program) when the non-profit sought to expand its services to youths who required a "second chance" to obtain a high school diploma. To that end, in 1985, an abandoned property at 2200 S. Marshall Boulevard was acquired (donated by the bank that owned it) and became a home to the high school. At this location, for over 25 years, the organization provided an array of social and educational services to over 5,000 students and their families each year. However, facing financial hardship the high school was acquired by another community non-profit, Pilsen Wellness Center, in 2005 and moved to its current location at 2001 S. California Avenue.

In 2011, the teachers at Latino Youth High School formed a union with the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS) in response to what they believed to be administrative mismanagement of the school. Although the union was certified by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made clear that charter schools are public schools and are allowed to unionize under Illinois state law the administration of Pilsen Wellness Center has refused to negotiate with the school’s teachers.[2] Agency administrators are waiting until the NLRB decides an appeal filed by the Chicago Math and Science Academy regarding a similar case.[3]

Notable persons[edit]

  • Sandra Cisneros - an American writer best known for her acclaimed first novel The House on Mango Street is a former teacher at Latino Youth.[4]
  • Guillermo "Bill" Lazo - Author, Poet. One of the original teachers at Latino Youth. Helped students publish first edition of "Un Verano" a collection of poems and art work created by Latino Youth students and others from the community.
  • Rudy Lozano - Chicago community activist and one of the founding teachers at Latino Youth.
  • Leonard Ramirez - Director of the Latin American Recruitment Education Service (LARES) Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago for nearly 30 years is a former teacher at Latino Youth.[5]
  • Daniel Solis - alderman of Chicago's 25th ward and a co-founder of Latino Youth. Alderman Solis is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the United Neighborhood Organization, which established the successful Chicago-based network of UNO Charter Schools.[6]

Educational partners[edit]

Latino Youth High School is a campus of the Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS), a member of the Alternative School Network (ASN) a division of Pilsen Wellness Center (PWC), and is recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Latino Youth High School also receives funding and support from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), The Department of Children and Family Services' (DCFS), and the Youth Development and Training Program (YSDTP).[7]


External links[edit]