Better Makers: Youth Guidance Raises $1 Million for School-Based Programming

Celebrating 94 years of impact, Youth Guidance held the 2018 Bright Futures Gala, raising over $1 million for its youth. Funds raised will further support school-based programs that currently serve 11,000 students. Celebrated at the Palmer House Hilton, the event highlighted Youth Guidance’s Becoming A Man® (BAM), Working On Womanhood℠ (WOW), Parent and Family Engagement, Project Prepare®, and Extended Day & Enrichment programs.

CEO Michelle Adler-Morrison addressed the audience with gratitude for a record-breaking year. “With the community’s support, we surpassed our goal and raised more than a million dollars, which will allow us to serve more of our children than ever before,” says Adler-Morrison. “On behalf of Youth Guidance and our Board Chairman John Raitt, we are so grateful to the people and City of Chicago, our Board of Directors, Host Committee, WOW and BAM Advisory councils, Junior Board — and especially our corporate and public-sector partners — all of which share our mission of guiding our youth to reach their full potential, to be their best selves. Thank you for helping us impact the lives of our youth.”

In attendance were Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, NBC 5 Chicago anchor Zoraida Sambolin, who served as emcee for the evening, and Gala Co-chairs Paul C. and Diane H. Reilly, and Douglas K. Walker.

Youth Guidance
YG Director of Working on Womanhood (WOW), WOW youth participants Brianna and Phillis, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Photo courtesy of Youth Guidance.)
Youth Guidance: Marshaun Bacon, Toni Preckwinkle, Laticia Palm
Youth Guidance (YG) BAM Senior Curriculum Specialist Marshaun Bacon, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, YG Director of Human Resources Laticia Palm, and YG National Director of the BAM program (Photo courtesy of Youth Guidance.)
Youth Guidance Gala
Pictured front row to back and left to right: WOW youth Brianna, WOW Counselor Alicia Jones, WOW youth Phillis, BAM student Mikyle, BAM student Chy’kei and BAM Counselor Tobias Alaribe. The youth and their counselors pictured inspired and took part in the video PSA created especially for the Gala. (Photo courtesy of Youth Guidance.)
Youth Guidance: Bright Futures Gala
Generous supporters gathered at the Palmer House Hilton to celebrate the work of Youth Guidance (YG) and the formative journey of its youth during the 2018 Bright Futures Gala. (Photo courtesy of Youth Guidance.)
Youth Guidance (impact)
Impact: “I want to be a heart surgeon,” said one young woman attending WOW’s Annual UnConference held March 10 at the James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club. Approximately 50 young women from many different high schools, including Hancock, Hyde Park Academy, and Percy L. Julian High School, attended the annual event. (Photo courtesy of Youth Guidance.)


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Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.