The inspiration behind the community mural project came from a collaborative effort amongst 75 middle school students on how they perceive and what forms their community.  From diversity to landmarks to education, equality and love, the students were able to create a visual for others reflecting how they envision the community of Berwyn. The “Gatekeepers” is a representation of how our youth inspires our community and how our community inspires our youth. 

“The philanthropic grant from the BDC to Youth Crossroads provided an outstanding opportunity for community collaboration as evidenced by the beautiful mural designed and installed at Heritage Middle School. Working in partnership over the summer months, high school teens from Youth Crossroads, middle school students, staff from Heritage and mural designer Sandro Murillo designed and installed the mosaic that will grace the exterior of the school for years to come,” said Youth Development Programs Coordinator Sandra Gonzalez.

Youth Crossroads, Inc. is a non-profit community-based organization whose mission is to act in the best interest of youth, guiding them through life’s challenges and inspiring them to discover new opportunities for personal development, healthy relationships and positive community involvement. The organization recently completed its 43rd year of service. This year alone, Youth Crossroads has increased its professional staff, expanded its crisis service area to Oak Park and River Forest, provided program innovations including LGBT support, student readiness for college and expansion of youth volunteer opportunities through community partnerships, and much more.

For more information on Youth Crossroads, Inc. please call (708) 484-7400 or visit

About the BDC Philanthropic Program
The Berwyn Development Corporation provides charitable contributions to causes within the Berwyn community. The BDC makes awards to local not-for-profit public charities, giving priority to those efforts that positively impact economic vitality, provide services directly to beneficiaries, address root problems and serve disenfranchised groups.

Berwyn headquartered not-for-profits can make application for funding throughout the year as needs arise with awards based upon available BDC funding. For more details regarding the philanthropic program, call the BDC at 708-788-8100 or visit

Special thanks to our BDC Trustees that help make these grants possible: Berwyn Tech Entrepreneurship Center, Byline Bank, MacNeal Hospital, Paisans Pizzeria & Bar, Republic Bank of Chicago, Turano Baking Company and World’s Largest Laundromat. 

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