A PROGRAM REPORT FROM ALL STARS PROJECT CEO, GABRIELLE KURLANDER
Published by Dan Kelly
Dear All Stars Champions,
I hope this finds you and your family safe and well during the COVID-19 crisis. As our country and world grapple with how to continue building community in this extended period of uncertainty and social distancing, I wanted to share how the All Stars Project is advancing our mission to deliver development to young people and families who are living in our poorest communities and who are especially vulnerable to isolation and marginalization.
The All Stars executive team and board leadership have been moving quickly to respond to the emerging conditions, to make sure our people are safe, our programs are delivering development while practicing social distancing and ensuring we have a prudent financial plan.
From the moment the All Stars Project began working remotely on March 20, our staff quickly got up to speed on the technological and performatory skills necessary for virtually building the All Stars and Afterschool Development. I am very proud of our national and regional teams for rising to the challenge and for the creativity with which they are working with our young people.
We are adapting our program offerings to create remote and virtual development experiences for our young people, and ensuring they stay connected to caring adults invested in their future. Enclosed is a program report to update you on what we have created.
I also want to express my gratitude for the generosity with which our philanthropic partners, national and local board members, and other caring adults are stepping up in this crisis—both with financial support and with the expertise that the All Stars needs to move through this moment. Thank you for standing with us. I look forward to working with all of you on finding new ways to ensure that the All Stars, and our country, emerge ever stronger.
Wishing you and your families stay safe and healthy.
Development School for Youth
Photo cap: Development School for Youth students in New York with All Stars staff performing an improv warm up exercise at their first Zoom Workshop.
The Spring 2020 Development School For Youth (DSY) class of 319 students are continuing on their development journey in all six cities. Here are just a few of the highlights from the last week:
In the San Francisco/Bay Area, 50 business professionals worked with 60 young people via Zoom on completing their first professional résumés.
In Newark and Jersey City, 56 volunteers from 23 companies—including some past partners—have signed up to conduct virtual mock job interviews in April.
The DSY team in New York City is using the Marco Polo app so that young people can create and share video messages and staff video replies.
Meanwhile, our teams in Chicago and Dallas are doubling down on involving business supporters as mock job interviewers and workshop leaders.
In every conversation, we ask young people how they are doing. And while they have expressed many fears and insecurities, they also appreciate the All Stars for moving forward with DSY and giving them ways to stay connected. Here’s what some of them have had to say:
Our school is giving us lots of work, but they haven’t asked us about our feelings, so I appreciate that you are doing that. Emily – Brownsville, Brooklyn
With school and everything being cancelled and all over the place…this is a
constant that I have. Ahmed – Jersey City, NJ
We are all improving on being more responsible and staying on top of
things. Javier – San Francisco, CA
I like being in these groups because it’s moving something forward. It’s good to have something to look forward to. Tya – Chicago, IL
Thank you for all the work you are doing to get us online. I’ve never used ZOOM before and this is cool. JaCorian – Dallas, TX.
Our corporate and business partners recognize that our kids need us now more than ever and are enthusiastic about making sure that, as one of our partners put it, “… young people get facile at a new skill set that is going to outlast this crisis.” Carol Miller, M.D. , member of faculty of USCF Medical School, San Francisco, CA.
Virtual Performance Offerings
All Stars is also creating online performance-based sessions for UX and Youth Onstage! (YO! ) students and for our volunteers. Our free school of continuing education for people of all ages, UX, has five virtual courses ready to go, including: “Movement and Emotional Balance,” “Creating Our Mental Health – Now More Than Ever,” and “Memoir Writing in a Time of Crisis.”
Our team at YO!—which introduces young people to the world of theater—is working with several of its teachers, including Diana Green (Children’s Shakespeare Theatre), Jessica Hecht ( The Sinner on USA), and colleagues at Primitive Grace Theater, on creating virtual theater performance experiences.
We are also working to design and host virtual talent shows and have asked All Stars Talent Show Network alumni to send us videos of a new performance, an invitation they have really appreciated.
Thank you, this gives me something positive to focus on . – Keyshawn, aka
K-Matic , All Stars performer, Dallas, TX.
Afterschool Development Initiatives
Through our Afterschool Development Initiatives , All Stars Project is engaging with leaders and frontline practitioners from hundreds of outside-of-school organizations across the country.
In April, the All Stars will launch a new online course , The Future of Afterschool, which is being taught by Bonny Gildin, PhD, VP/Afterschool Development Research and Policy, ASP; Carrie Lobman, EdD, Chair, Department of Learning and Teaching, Rutgers University; and Gloria Strickland, MA, SVP, Chief Youth and Community Development Officer, ASP. Registration for the class is almost full and participants hail from Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, and New York. The course is open to everyone in the Afterschool Development Working Groups and others.
We also continue a partnership with Big Thought and the Dallas County Promise Champions that the ASP of Dallas is conducting at Pinkston High School in West Dallas. Antoine Joyce, VP and City Leader, ASP of Dallas, is moving the Champions program (in which successful adults help prepare students for college life) to a remote platform so that their mentoring sessions can begin.
In the midst of extraordinary social and economic uncertainty, we are happy to report that the All Stars has met our first quarter financial goals. We are deeply grateful to our philanthropic partners for their continued support. We are seeing close partner corporations and foundations look to accelerate the grant-making process in recent weeks, and renewing their support at similar levels to last year. Please see the list below.
This financial generosity is only one way the business community is going above and beyond in their enthusiasm for the All Stars and our mission.
Our industry is slammed right now with clients’ needs rapidly evolving through this dynamic time. However, F92 is still fully committed to the DSY and All Stars’ mission of helping youth in our underprivileged neighborhoods, especially during this challenging time! – Chris McNally, Revenue Growth Executive at Fusion92, Chicago, IL
Our kids need us now more than ever! These are challenging times for us but many more are and will struggle greater than us. – Greg Arnold, Chairman and CEO, TAC, Dallas, TX
Follow All Stars Project on Social Media : We will be sharing photos, videos and activities via Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn , and Instagram using the hashtag #DevelopWhileDistancing.