Antonio Ramirez Jr.

Antonio Ramirez Jr.

Associate Director of Teen Programs

YMCA of Rock River Valley

Rockford, IL

Antonio Ramirez Jr. is currently the Co-Founder of United At Peace, Inc. a new local grass root non-profit dedicated to helping youth, families and the community at large. Prior to starting this new non-profit in the fall of 2013, he was the Branch Director of the YMCA of Rock River Valley- Community Outreach Branch. He began at the YMCA of Rock River Valley in 2004 as a volunteer to the Black and Latino Achievers Steering Committee, and then became Coordinator for the Black and Latino Achievers in 2006.

Ramirez began his career in the Human Service/Community Outreach field in 2001 with CCS YouthBuild Rockford, working with opportunity youth looking to gain a GED all while developing leadership, life and job ready skills.

Ramirez himself was a participant and graduate of YouthBuild Rockford in 2000, but was accepted as a 1998 East High School graduate to the program. Graduating from the program not only inspired Ramirez to become a more productive citizen for his community but also engaged his passion to be actively involved in youth advocacy and community activism nationally for now 16 years. In October 2003 Ramirez became the first in the state of Illinois and second in the nation to complete a two-year term as a Youth Development Practitioner Apprentice (YDPA). The YDPA position was created by the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen and professionalize the field of youth development.

In 2007, Ramirez served as the commencement speaker at Rock Valley College’s graduation, as he became the first in his family to attend college and receive an Associates Degree. That same year, Ramirez was recognized in the first ever, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 40 Leaders Under 40.

Antonio’s local community involvements include former member of CCS YouthBuild Rockford Board of Directors, previous member of La Voz Latina Board of Directors, and former President to District 205 Bilingual Department Parent Advisory Committee. Currently Ramirez is member of the Coalition of Latino Leaders and has been a long time Alumni advisor and past President to the Association of Latin American Students Club of Rock Valley College.

Ramirez’s national involvement includes current member of National YouthBuild USA Board of Directors, along with serving as a 10-year member and former 3 term President of YouthBuild USA’s National Alumni Council.

Aside from organizing conferences, facilitating workshops/trainings, and keynote speaking for schools, organizations, or youth related conferences, Ramirez is a devoted loving father and family man.