Sept. 23, 2014 – Chicago teens are getting a boost from Derrick Rose, NBA MVP and three-time All-Star.
Rose is donating $1-million to After School Matters, a Chicago-based non-profit organization devoted to providing innovative out-of-school programs for teenagers. The teen population that After School Matters serves is almost entirely minority and living at or below the poverty level.
“To have a strong community of people who believe in your potential can make all the difference in the world,” said Rose, a native of Englewood, who is a point guard for the Chicago Bulls. “So many people have invested in me and I want to do the same for Chicago’s teens.”
The funds will be used to drive the growth of unique programming experiences for teenagers throughout the city in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology. Participants develop critical life skills to help them prepare for work, college and beyond. Last year the organization created thousands of opportunities for teens, all with stipends attached, according to E. Robbie Robinson, Vice Chair of After School Matters Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the organization’s 2014 Annual Gala, and a Managing Director at Chicago-based BDT & Company.
“Derrick’s significant contribution is making a tremendous statement to Chicago that our teens do matter,” said Robinson. “We are grateful for Derrick’s generosity, as we work hard to provide a safe and productive environment for teens to learn and explore their interests outside of the classroom. We look forward to partnering with Derrick and the Rose family to continue to expand our programs and reach even more of teens for many years to come.”
After School Matters was founded more than two decades ago by Chicago’s former First Lady, Maggie Daley. Since then, it has served more than 200,000 teens. Mellody Hobson, President of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, became Board Chair in 2012 following Mrs. Daley’s passing.
“Derrick’s support of Chicago, particularly the care and concern he has for our teens, is an inspiration to anyone seeking to make this world a better place,” said Hobson.
The Chicago Bulls have long supported After School Matters and its programming for teens. Bulls’ Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf sits on the organization’s Advisory Board, and Bulls’ President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Reinsdorf sits on the Board of Directors.
“My message to our kids is simple – you matter, you deserve every opportunity in life, and you can and should dream big because dreams can come true,” said Rose.
“Over the years, I’ve often talked to Derrick, his family, and his management team about what is happening in Chicago, and it is clear that Derrick’s connection with this city is deep and personal. Through these conversations and his work with the Bulls Community Relations department, Derrick learned about After School Matters and the innovative work they do with Chicago’s teens. As someone who has seen Derrick grow as a player and a man, I couldn’t be more proud of his decision to support After School Matters in such an impactful way,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, Bulls Chairman.
“We work closely with our players to learn about what matters to them in the community. For Derrick, we know that issues affecting children are close to his heart. And when you talk to him now about his young son, it is apparent that helping young people is something that resonates with Derrick in a new way as a father,” said Michael Reinsdorf, Bulls President and COO. “The Bulls have a long history with After School Matters, and we are so pleased that Derrick has decided to support ASM and their mission of helping Chicago’s teens.”