About RAY of Illinois
A non-profit volunteer organization committed to enhancing and shaping the lives of youth through education and counseling. RAY's mission is to empower youth, ages 12-18, with basic values and affirm their individual talents that help to build a healthy sense of self-worth and community. The vision is to improve the quality of life for our future young leaders and ensure a better tomorrow.
In August 1991, Addie Mix and Gloria Randolph founded Reclaim A Youth after the violent murders of their sons, James Mix and Sean Cater. Although overcome by grief, these two mothers sought to bring hope out of tragedy and reclaim the lives of youth in their community. These women of courage, along with twenty-five concerned friends, established RAY to help youth successfully overcome the challenges and adversity of adolescence and young adulthood.
The services and accomplishments of RAY are achieved through the generous support and financial contributions of friends, community groups and businesses that partner with the RAY organization and believe in the mission. Annually, RAY sponsors a fundraising gala to acknowledge the achievements of the youth scholarship recipients and partner contributions.
The impact that RAY has on the daily lives of the youth, their families, and the community is immeasurable.
To empower youth with basic values and affirm their individual talents
To improve the quality of life for our young leaders to ensure a better tomorrow.
• 2011 Governor's Home Town Award:
This competition recognizes the contributions made by thousands of volunteers whose efforts improve the quality of life in communities. Throughout the state, volunteers are contributing their time, money and talents to make sure important community projects and services are addressed.
• 2008 Jefferson Award Winner
This is the country's longest standing and most prestigious organization dedicated to activating and celebrating public service.
• 2007 Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneurship Award
The RAY Organization was the recipient of the Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneur Award for demonstrating that RAY programs play a major role in solving the social problems of academic underperformance and low development of self-esteem among at risks youth on the Southside of Chicago. RAY distinguished its program deliverables through fiscal responsibility, strategic planning, community involvement, and by partnering with other educational and faith-based institutions to make a positive difference in the region!
• Giving Tuesday (2): Three Great Picks, Post-Ferguson, Post -Partisan, Forbes Magazine (12/2/14)
• 2008 Jefferson Award Winner, NBC Chicago (11/12/08)
• Youth group honoree offers children advice, NWI Times (11/20/05)
• Reclaim a Youth and Rhema Word Intervention Program, The Star (7/03/05)
• Teen R-A-Ys of Hope honored at fundraiser, The Star (11/28/04)
• Focusing on the positive creates a R.A.Y. of hope, Chicago Tribune (7/7/96)
• Two women turn tragedies into hope - by forming RAY, The Star (12/22/94)
“RAY teaches students that anyone can fight when in a conflict state, but it takes a strong minded person to be able to express themselves in a nonviolent way.”
-Michael Turner, Social Worker
Bloom Township High School
“Thank you for extending your expertise and contributions toward me at a time in my life where I am forced to train myself to become responsible, focused and alert.” “This foundation has given me a reason to strive for the best… I appreciate you having my best interests at heart. I hope to continually make you proud.”
Four Year Scholarship Recipient
Graduate of DePaul University