For 16 years, JCYS has provided area public high schools with a teen program to encourage self-esteem and confidence through mentorship and team building exercises.  Through these experiences, TEAMcorps equips students with the tools they need to succeed academically in high school and beyond.

TEAMcorps uses the framework of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), one of the key components of the Illinois State Board of Education’s Comprehensive System of Learning.  SEL is the process through which children develop awareness and management of their emotions, set and achieve important personal and academic goals, use social-awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships, and demonstrate decision making and responsible behaviors to achieve school and life success. According to the Illinois State Board of Education, there is a strong research base indicating that these SEL competencies improve students’ social/emotional development, readiness to learn, classroom behavior and academic performance.

Measurable Outcomes

TEAMcorps programming works.  At every Life Skills Workshop, we ask faculty and students to help us benchmark our goals.  During the 2012/2013 school year, we found that:

  • 90% of students learned better communication and cooperation skills,
  • 89% of students responded that TEAMcorps gave them effective problem-solving techniques,
  • 88% learned value of patience and perseverance when trying to reach their goals,
  • 70% of students said their schoolwork improved because of TEAMcorps, and
  • 84% of students responded that lessons learned during the program will help them in college, jobs and beyond!


Our Staff

Meet our 2013/2014 school year staff!

Elysabeth Ashe, Youth Programs Director  |  (773) 281-2533
As our Youth Programs Director, Elysabeth directs the TEAMcorps High School program during the school year and Big City Day Camp during the summer.  Elysabeth came to JCYS with a long history as a camp director, naturalist, teambuilding facilitator and program specialist.  She has experience as a professional storytelling and has performed folk tales and personal motivational stories nationally and internationally. Elysabeth received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University as well as academic work completed in a Master Program in Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech.

John Voegtlin, Lead Facilitator
John has been a part of our team for 7 years and is TEAMcorp’s statistical coordinator!  With over 20 years of experience working in experiential education, John also serves on the Association for Challenge cCourse Technology Committee, helping shape the presentation of new ideas and industry trends in the standards surrounding challenge course staff, training & equipment.

John Monroe, Lead Facilitator
Joining TEAMcorps in 2010, John is also our social media coordinator.  John believes that all students are reachable and his greatest reward is being approached by former students who remember TEAMcorps and all that learned from our program!

Jill Hidding, Lead Facilitator
Jill was first introduced to Adventure Education as a middle school student!  Joining the TEAMcorps staff in 2012, Jill is also facilitator and teambuilding coordinator for a number of Chicagoland organizations.  Jill is trained in high ropes, climbing walls, bully prevention and social skills facilitation.

TEAMcorps currently provides programming at Mather High School, Ogden International High School, Sullivan High School, William Howard Taft High School, and Disney II High School.

If you are a staff member of school or know of a school who would like to participate, please read over our program requirements, or contact Elysabeth Ashe at 773-281-2533 or for more information.

If you are interested in supporting TEAMcorps financially, contact Molly Hill at or (312) 726-8891, ext. 115.