Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made welcome remarks at the 2016 All Stars Project of Chicago Afterschool Development Conference on Thursday, October 20.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made welcome remarks at the 2016 All Stars Project of Chicago Afterschool Development Conference on Thursday, October 20.

All Stars Project held a grassroots conversation Thursday to unite Chicago’s community organizations in afterschool program development.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle welcomed 170 community leaders from 94 organizations along with officials and youth from Chicago’s underserved communities to the All Stars Project of Chicago’s third annual Afterschool Development Conference.

“Young people need to have hopes and dreams and it’s up to all of us to lead the way,” President Preckwinkle said. “So many of them come from communities that are mired in poverty and experience violence and trauma from an early age. Too many come from broken families and live on streets lined with boarded up houses and closed schools. I am grateful for your involvement with the All Stars Project and for all of the people here today committed to improving the lives of our city’s youth through afterschool.”

Stepping Outside the Box to Grow Afterschool Panelists - Mike Johnstone, CEO, Beverly Bank; Crystal L. Harris, Ph.D., University Lecturer, Division of Psychology and Counseling, Governors State University; Julie Lenner, Director, ASP of Chicago; Anthony Moseley, Artistic Director, Collaboraction Theatre Company; Jennifer Scott, Human Relations Specialist, Commission on Human Relations; David Cherry, City Leader, ASP of Chicago.

Stepping Outside the Box to Grow Afterschool Panelists – Mike Johnstone, CEO, Beverly Bank; Crystal L. Harris, Ph.D., University Lecturer, Division of Psychology and Counseling, Governors State University; Julie Lenner, Director, ASP of Chicago; Anthony Moseley, Artistic Director, Collaboraction Theatre Company; Jennifer Scott, Human Relations Specialist, Commission on Human Relations; David Cherry, City Leader, ASP of Chicago.

Held at East-West University, the one-day conference is designed to foster new connections and highlight the ideas and practices that can expand and strengthen afterschool programs, helping them transform youth and communities.

“I walk the streets of Chicago’s South and West Sides, where hopelessness and violence are the norm for our youth and I see how the devastating cycle of poverty in these neighborhoods has left people isolated and disconnected from the success of our city,” ASP of Chicago City Leader David Cherry said. “Amidst the pain and suffering, there are so many great people and organizations at all levels working to grow the field of Afterschool Development. All Stars is elevating this unique conversation about how we can advance Chicago’s afterschool movement. I am proud of our growing afterschool community that is dedicated to partnering with our city’s poorest and most abandoned youth to ignite their growth and development. It represents a new way forward for our city.”

ASP of Chicago City Leader David Cherry with youth leaders Lavell Harris; Dawn Harris; Armani Hubbard; Emilio Vazquez.

ASP of Chicago City Leader David Cherry with youth leaders Lavell Harris; Dawn Harris; Armani Hubbard; Emilio Vazquez.

All Stars Project is leading both a citywide and national conversation to build afterschool development innovation as a new approach to engaging poverty. The Afterschool Development Conferences take place in all six All Stars cities including Chicago, New York, Newark, Bridgeport, Dallas, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Chicago Afterschool Development Work Group meets every other month at the ASP of Chicago office located at 53 W Jackson Blvd, Suite 1135. For more information or to join, contact David Cherry, dcherry@allstars.org, 312-994-3100.

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