Ka’Riel Gaiter 

Ka’Riel Gaiter was raised mainly on the Westside of Chicago in K-Town, where he was part of the dance team at Douglass Jr. High. For 2 years he choreographed the prize-winning youth choir of Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church and attended Dora Lynn Music Academy for vocal training. Ka’Riel joined YEPP in the spring of 2012 with a passion for fashion and performance. He found several organizations that could give him strength to tackle the stigma that oppressed him for years. Through the Broadway Youth Center (BYC) and the Youth Pride Center (YPC) Ka’Riel acquired life and vocational skills to better prepare him for the position of powerful role-model. He later acquired his GED through the BYC. He was also trained in peer advocacy, research specialist for Project NIA, and lab technology at the Center on Halsted. Ka’Riel is currently working as a full time staff at YEPP as the Community Engagement Coordinator, opportunity possible through Public Allies (AmeriCorps). As part of his role in YEPP, he is working with the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative (CYSI) to start the first free storage space in Chicago for youth experiencing housing instability. His dream is to go back to school to become a social worker who incorporates art as a tool for healing.