The After School Matters Annual Gala, held on Monday, September 19, 2016, brought approximately 1,000 civic, corporate and community leaders to Navy Pier.

The event celebrated 25 years of successfully providing afterschool and summer programs to Chicago teenagers, during which more than 200,000 teens have participated in the nonprofit organization’s hands-on, project-based afterschool and summer programs in the arts, communications, science, sports, and technology. This year alone, After School Matters provided 23,000 opportunities for Chicago teenagers to participate in the organization’s programs, which provide youth with an opportunity to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond.

The gala was presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and hosted by the After School Matters Board of Directors. Gala Co-Chairs included Mellody Hobson and George Lucas, Denise and Matt Gibson, D’Rita and Robbie Robinson, and Dona and Sam Scott. Honorary Chairs included Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Amy Rule, and Richard M. Daley.