On Saturday, April 25th, After-School All-Stars Chicago and CPS Service-Learning teamed up with Chicago Cares and the Jefferson Awards to host the 6th annual Chicago Youth Service Day (CYSD). Students of all ages, from across the city came out for this exciting, robust and powerful occasion focused on service and peace.
In the morning, 500 ASAS Chicago students and 275 adult volunteers took part in innovative, interactive service projects spread across the city, engaging with seniors, children, and peers. Projects included beautifying urban landscapes, collaborating with community organizations, and raising awareness for issues they care about.
In the afternoon, 1,000 students converged in downtown’s Grant Park for a culminating celebration and rally. The rally included fun, engaging activities for youth and families, live entertainment and service awards.
ASAS Students at Horace Mann and their instructor Ms. Johnson took home a CYSD Service Award for “Best Project by an Elementary or Middle School.” Their project partnered with Mazda and Project Yellow Light to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. In addition to developing the social media campaign #itcanwait, students filmed their own public service announcement and distributed factsheets throughout the community.
Special Performances & Appearances at the rally included:
• KIND Snacks – The KIND Flower Wall spread color and gratitude throughout the park
• FM Supreme – Chicago’s own humanitarian rap artist opened the final stage presentation with her CYSD anthem “No Turning Back”
• David Otunga – Two-time WWE Tag Team Champion addressed the crowd at the rally and spread the word about #CYSD2015
• Danny Bender – NASCAR Driver for Mazda and 2014 SCCA T4 Northern Conference Champion presented three CYSD Service Awards, posed for pictures with students and signed autographs
• Kuumba Lynx – Spoken word magnates and 2015 Louder Than A Bomb Team Champions closed out the day with a special dance and poetry performance
Thank you to all the participating schools, volunteers, and program and service partners for making ASAS’ participation in CYSD 2015 stunning success!