Annual affair will honor Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Exelon and Peoples Gas for their support
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be presented with Youth Guidance’s Kurtz L. Schultz Service award in recognition of his dedicated efforts to expand both the Becoming a Man (BAM) and Working on Womanhood (WOW) counseling programs under his citywide Mentoring Initiative. This year, BAM expanded by 50% to serve more than 4,000 young men from troubled communities thanks to help from the Emanuel Administration and philanthropic supporters. Similarly, the WOW program will also expand by 500 additional girls this fall for a total of 1,500 young women served.
“As we work to make our communities safer and our children’s futures brighter, programs like BAM are essential to giving our youth who need help the most access to mentors so they can learn good values and change the direction of their lives,” stated the Mayor. “By doing so, we will keep more children safer and help our next generation succeed.”
Youth Guidance will also honor Exelon and Peoples Gas as Corporate Partners of the Year. Both organizations have pledged significant investments in BAM over the next three years, and demonstrate their support of Chicago’s youth through volunteer events and career development opportunities for students.
“At Exelon, we are investing to empower young people and create opportunity,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “Programs like BAM prove that with investment and support, our kids can reject violence and instead step forward into bold and promising futures.”
“We are in awe of BAM, the counselors and the achievements of this amazing initiative,” said Michelle Rindt, Peoples Gas vice president of customer service. “Peoples Gas is proud to support a program that helps develop the skills and confidence that young men need to chart a path for long-term success in life.”
The 2017 Bright Futures Gala will be held at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel and co-chaired by Matt and Carrie Parr. The evening will include a silent and live auction, dinner service and engaging program emceed by NBC 5 broadcast personality Zoraida Sambolin.
Youth Guidance meets youth where they are – physically within schools, socially and emotionally – to help them overcome obstacles and focus on their education. Proceeds from the Bright Futures Gala will support the organization’s mission of providing counseling, mentoring and afterschool supports to youth from at-risk communities across Chicago.
“Our annual Bright Futures gala is a night of recognition for those who support our mission,” stated Chief Executive Officer Michelle Adler Morrison. “There are no words to express our gratitude for our donor’s commitment and investment in our programming this past year. Because of their generosity, we are better positioned to continue to positively impact the academic and life success of our youth.”
Both the BAM and WOW programs support young men and women in grades 7-12. BAM— now in its 16th year of operation—has received national recognition as an effective intervention for young men of color from high-risk environments. A University of Chicago Crime Lab study found a 50% reduction in violent crime arrests and 19% increase in on-time graduation rates for participants in the program. WOW has been a dedicated in-school counseling resource to young girls for six years, serving more than 1,000 students in 20 Chicago area schools.
To learn more about Youth Guidance or to donate, please visit https://www.youth-guidance.org/gala.
About Youth Guidance:
Founded in 1924, Youth Guidance is a leader in outcomes-driven, school-based programs and capacity-building initiatives. The agency directly serves more than 8,500 students in more than 80 Chicago schools through a portfolio of comprehensive programs. Youth Guidance’s specific and strategically developed delivery areas are Community & After-School, Counseling & Prevention, and Youth Workforce Development. Ninety percent of students served are low income. More than 95% are African American and Hispanic/Latino. For more information, call 312-253-4900 or visit http://www.youth-guidance.org.