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Laighton Scott

Co-Lead Instructor / Mentor

Certified by the IL State Fire Marshall

  • Co-Lead Instructor / Mentoring


  • Conducting vocational training sessions and life skills workshops

  • Mentoring youth in vocational skills and career paths

  • Focusing on violence reduction in Cook County communities


  • 33 years of experience in the Fire Service

  • 16 years as Fire Captain

  • IL State Certified Firefighter

Demetrius Wade

First Responder Awareness Instructor / Youth Mentor


  • Providing first responder training to youth

  • Mentoring on emergency response skills

  • Engaging with curious young teens


  • Nationally Registered EMTs (NREMT) Certified

  • IL State Certified EMT


Denard Wade II

Financial Literacy Instructor/Mentor


  • Teaching financial literacy to youth

  • Managing financial education resources

  • Ensuring the financial sustainability of the program


  • Bachelor's Degree in Finance

  • Associate Degree in Business Administration

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Lajuan Wade 

Co-Founder / CFO / Human Resource Manager


  • Managing finances and daily operations

  • Supervising budget reviews and financial modeling

  • Overseeing human resource tasks


  • 26 years of experience in Human Resources

  • 31 years of experience in Accounting

Catrece Smith

Grant Manager


Grant Reporting:

  • Compiling and submitting comprehensive reports on grant-funded activities, outcomes, and expenditures.

  • Ensuring compliance with reporting requirements stipulated by grantors.

Managing Program Funding Requirements:

  • Overseeing the allocation and utilization of grant funds in accordance with program objectives.

  • Tracking expenses and ensuring that funds are utilized efficiently and effectively.

Researching Information Sources for Program Development:

  • Conducting research to identify potential grant opportunities aligned with the program's mission and goals.

  • Gathering relevant information and data to support grant applications and proposals


  • 23 years of experience in grant writing


Darius Wade 

Firearm Safety Instructor / Youth Mentor

Federally Certified Safety Firearm Instructor


  • Leading firearm safety awareness campaigns

  • Hosting gun safety giveaways "Lock-It-Up"

  • Ensuring responsible firearm handling practices


  • Expertise in firearm safety education 

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Admin Team:

  • Logistical Coordinators: Kassandra Reyes, Ashley Wade,        Lajuan Wade, Corin Wade

Support Team:

  • Youth Trauma Based Coordinator: Natalie Pettigrew

  • Youth Mentors: Monique Hudson, Stacy Couch

  • Program Nutrition Coordinator: June Scott

  • Youth Case Manager: Nova Mines

  • Peer-Peer Mentor: Alan Eades

Our Staff and Partners Mission

DLD For Youth Staff and volunteers understand that we must be successful and cause success in others. In our pursuit of excellence, we shell sow seeds that produce the next generation of professional leaders. We are a 501c3 organization that is committed to providing a safe environment for young people to freely express themselves and encourage them to make healthy decisions.

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