Rick Redmond
Founder, Executive Director

Rick comes from more than 25 years of working extensively with at-risk or off-track youth in the inner-cities of Oakland and Chicago including formal therapeutic mentoring, residential treatment, teaching special education in the Chicago Public School system, direct intervention with gang affiliated youth and several years in nonprofit leadership and administration.  Most recently, he served as the former Executive Director of the Starfish Learning Center in Chicago where he significantly grew and improved programs and infrastructure before stepping out to launch YouthTopia.  In addition to designing, developing and running many programs for youth and families, he has also recruited, trained and supervised undergraduate and graduate interns.  Rick currently serves on the Board of Directors for Family Matters, a fabulous nonprofit organization that also serves youth and families in the East Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago and is a very active member of the Local School Council for Gale Elementary School in East Rogers Park as well.  Rick is a member of the Rotary Club and American Legion of nearby Evanston, IL and is a grateful military veteran. He enjoys music, writing and triathlon.


His +25 years of service and leadership are supported by the following formal training, memberships and certifications:

Master of Science Degree - Clinical Psychology, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN (still in completion)

Bachelor of Arts, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago.

Nonprofit Leadership & Administration, University of IL - Chicago (certified)

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance - member

SEL Leadership, Academy for Social Emotional Learning, College of St. Elizabeth (completing certification)

Character Education, University of San Diego (completing certification)

National Mentoring Partnership (member)

National Tutoring Association (member)

Tribes Learning Communities (certified)

Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS)

Life Space Crisis Intervention (certified)

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (certified)

American Red Cross - Licensed Training Provider, Adult & Pediatric First Aid, CPR & AED (certified)

American Red Cross - Lakefront/Pool Lifeguard & Water Safety Instructor (certified)

Rotary Club of Evanston, IL

American Legion of Evanston, IL

USA Triathlon - Member

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Sustainable well-being for youth, families & communities through innovative solutions, supportive relationship & resourceful, strategic partnership