Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs: Dave Terrazino of Youth Crossroads, Inc.

Meet Dave Terrazino of Youth Crossroads, Inc. (3401 Gunderson Avenue, 2E), est. 1974
Hometown: Brookfield, IL
Current Residence: Brookfield, IL

All About Dave: I was born in Chicago and grew up in Riverside. I graduated from R-B high School, then U of I Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor’s in Psychology/Child Development before earning a Master’s Of Science Degree in Human Services Administration from Spertus College in Chicago. I have worked with adolescents for the past 32 years, and as Executive Director of 2 non-profit youth organizations over the past 27 years. I am married to the most wonderful wife Laura who has been my muse and inspiration since 2003.

The Business Side: Youth Crossroads, Inc. (formerly Youth In Crisis) was formed in 1974 by Berwyn citizens concerned with the growing problems associated with youth drug and alcohol abuse. Originally housed in MacNeal Hospital, YC has had several “homes” over the years, all Berwyn-based. The agency has grown from providing only crisis counseling services to about 200 youth annually, to now serving over 1,400 youth each year through behavioral mental health services , 24/7 crisis intervention, school-based counseling, after-school academic enrichment programs and teen leadership development services.

Describe yourself in three words.
Resourceful: I can maximize limited resources while maintaining high standards of service excellence.
Approachable: I’m a good listener, I smile easily and focus most on the needs of others.
Honest: I like being mindful and straightforward in thoughts, words and actions.

What inspires you?
My wife Laura inspires me in ways that are beyond words. The team at YC inspires me every day through their capacity to guide, support and inspire our young people. Young people themselves never cease to amaze and inspire me with their resiliency, passion and joy, often despite extremely difficult life circumstances.

What is something people might not know about you?
That I was a wayward teen. I have no regrets but, if I had the chance to do a few things differently, I would be kinder and less self-destructive. The good news is that there is very little a teenager can get past me without my recognition of a similar personal experience.

Why Berwyn? 
Berwyn is awesome! I continue to be impressed with how well people and institutions collaborate with each other to improve conditions for our young people and families. The support that Youth Crossroads receives from the City, our school systems, police, businesses, social service providers and citizens is deeply appreciated.

 If someone made a movie about your life, what kind of movie would it be?
“It’s a Wonderful Life”. While the movie itself was a so-so classic, I feel truly blessed by the way life has unfolded. When things seemed hopeless, teachers appeared to show the way. When things seemed too good to be true, they usually were, and I learned humility and thoughtfulness. When love seemed remote and improbable, I learned to let desire go, and instantly love became abundant.

What makes you laugh?
My wife and I have a “top ten” list of our most treasured quips that always makes me smile. All of those sayings would be meaningless to any reader, but to us, they are the mortar between the bricks of our life together.  Also, anything alive under one year old makes me happy deep down.

Where is one of the most interesting places you’ve been?
Venice, Italy is hands down one of the most interesting places I have been. Even though I have been to this magical island/swamp on four separate trips, each time is a new and unforgettable adventure. During the day, Venice is a colorful, magnificent historical treasure. During night time, it is a different world, graceful yet notoriously decadent.

What is your fondest memory?
Every kid growing up needs to experience at least one event that (at least in their own mind) sets them apart from all others. Mine happened on a little league baseball field. Traveling all-star ball game, bottom of the last inning, down by 2 runs, men on first and second. Pitch count worked to 3-2. Next pitch, connected for a deep-center homer to win the game.

What is your greatest personal fear?
Seriously, people who go swimming at night in the ocean (any ocean) are just goofy. Do you have any idea what is down there? Right! Could be any matter of evolution that wants to bite, chomp, sting, or swallow you whole! A rogue gang of jellyfish is still out there waiting for my return.

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