New youth center to open in New Carlisle

Quest Youth Development Center will include career development programs, founders say.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Two local people are now the co-founders of a new youth center opening in New Carlisle.

Bryan Moore and Julie Driskill will open the Quest Youth Development Center under the organization Jobseekers Network next week at 200 E. Lake Ave., which was previously a Safe and Sound Outfitters.

The center — which is not a traditional youth center with hours for kids to come hang out — will focus on eighth to 12th grades through a referral process, which can come from schools, guidance counselors, principals, teachers, probation officers, children services and even parents, guardians and foster parents. It’s 100% volunteer based with 28 volunteers so far, and it is funded through grants and donations.

“Our goal is to take teens and to help them figure out where they’re going, who they are and how they’re going to get there,” Driskill said.

Moore started Jobseekers Network in 2017 to help people who were unemployed, underemployed, veterans, and individuals with disabilities find long-term careers. He later transitioned from workforce development into the nonprofit world, met Driskill who was doing a mentoring program, and they “combined forces.” For the last almost six years, Moore has handled the career development aspect and Driskill handles the at-risk behavior and social emotional learning aspect.

“Then we came up with this concept to have a youth center so we can do mentoring for social emotional at-risk kids, we can do leadership development, we can do education to help those kids who are falling behind in schoolwork or have struggles passing tests for different things, and then wrapping around with that career development,” Moore said.

Driskill, whose background is in education, has been with the Tecumseh Local School District for about 10 years guest and substitute teaching in classrooms, helping with after-school programs, mentoring and working with the New Carlisle Rotary Club.

She lived in Champaign County for 25 years and ran a nonprofit mentoring camp, then moved to Clark County. When her family moved, they ceased their nonprofit and came under the Jobseekers Network organization.

“We’re just really excited because the youth center allows us for the first time to bring kids on our turf ... This is going to be exciting to continue to offer what we are already doing. Then to add additional stuff that we couldn’t pull off in the other places,” she said.

With a lot of youth centers offering the same programs, what will make this one different, Moore said, is their career development program.

“We want to see kids reach benchmarks in our mission, and our mission is to prevent, reduce or eliminate at-risk behaviors that link to mental health issues, generational cycles of poverty and incarceration ... We want to address those mental health issues, we want to address those at-risk behaviors first before we start getting them to where they need to be in school, and to where they need to be in picking and choosing their career,” he said.

“What I’ve learned in workforce development is that if we don’t address those behaviors, they’re going to take them with them, and then those behaviors become the employer’s problem. Just because somebody had the aptitude of the job doesn’t mean they have the personality to do the job. ... and that’s where we focus, that’s what the youth development center is going to be about,” Moore added.

The center will be open mainly during the mornings, such as from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Driskill said it would “be like a lab sort of situation” where they offer special programming, and in the afternoon as kids meet benchmarks and are showing progress, they can be connected with internships, experiences with businesses and other nonprofits to “get the opportunity to see what the real world is and what that job looks like.”

The two are still developing what the center and programs will exactly be, but are going to try different things to see what resonates in the community because they “can say this is what we’re doing, but who’s really signing up? Where’s the interest?” Driskill said.

Driskill said this center is going to be more than finding a kid a job, it’s about aptitude, personality, a kid’s passion, what makes them excited, collaboration and teamwork, and training.

“The reason we chose Quest is we felt like everybody has a story and everybody has a journey, and we’re there along the way as guides, helping to push stumbling blocks out of the way, pointing to new directions or new ways they’ve never thought of going or seeing, and having them understand that it’s a lifelong process, it’s a lifelong learning,” she said.

As for the logo, which is a dandelion, they chose it because “most of the time the kids that we work with are seen as weeds, but we see them as wishes,” Driskill said. “It’s the positive, it’s the optimist, quit looking at all the negative of all the stuff and look at the possibilities. But that takes belief, it takes encouragement.”

Quest Youth Development Center will work under the Jobseekers Network organization until it becomes its own nonprofit. Moore said they have already filed through the state for the business name, but now have to establish articles of incorporation and bylaws and submit it to the IRS to obtain the 501(c)3 status.

Community members can visit an open house event either from 2 to 4 p.m., which will include the ribbon cutting, or from 6 to 8 p.m., which will include activities, on Tuesday, June 4. Both times will include a program presentation, facility tour, meet and greet, and fundraising. RSVP to your selected time by emailing

Those interested in referring a teen for the program can visit the open house, and eventually visit the soon-to-be-developed website, and fill out a referral form. Community members will also be able to fill out volunteer forms if interesting in helping at the center.

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