On Saturday December 5th NEBC Employment Resource Services hosted the first Apprentice Showcase of the After School Matters Male Youth Initiative. The Showcase was designed to provide the young men with a platform to demonstrate some of the skills they have developed in three program areas. They were launched to focus on high school age young men in an effort to bring opportunity and personal development.
For ten weeks the young men in these three programs – who come from high schools across the city – participated in the programs designed to teach new skills, build character, and have fun. The programs included an audio and video arts program, jazz, and culinary arts.
Beyond Rhyme and Rhythm, the audio/video program, drew youth who were interested in music, sound engineering, and short film production. The program, led by Dan Allen, presented a drama illustrating the music creation and recording process, as well as a music video the group had produced.
Omni Jazz & Tech, instructed by Chris Morgan and Fred Jackson, Jr., presented a dance performance by one of the young men, as well as an instrumental performance. Of significant note was that more than half of the young men had never played a musical instrument prior to the 10-week class. In addition, they learned basic music business concepts, music theory, improvisation, arranging and composition.
You Got Served, the culinary class instructed by Devon Bussell, was a learning experience for teens who were looking to gain skills in gourmet food prep, presentation, and service. The group learned the fundamentals of creating recipes, food styling, and plating. The group prepared a buffet for all who attended the Showcase. Delicious!
After School Matters is committed to providing opportunities for Chicago teens to explore and develop their interests, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. This includes helping young people – such as the young men in these programs –grow and develop skills in Social Awareness to help them embrace community building, Personal Mindset to help them reach beyond any challenges they may be facing, and the need for Collaboration to help them bridge divides in their communities.
Teens interested in After School Matters can search and apply for programs at www.afterschoolmatters.org.
Press release prepared by Bob Mead, Mead Communications. 708-764-0000 or bob@meadcomm.com
Photos courtesy of Mead Communications

Dawn Ferencak likes to go behind the scenes when connecting with her customers to create ways to help make their businesses grow beyond their expectations. What she didn't expect, when she started working...