July 30, 2014
Read the 2014 Gala Release here.
Meet Andrew — a Senior Analyst at Anderson Economic Group who works in public policy and economic impact analysis. As a participant in Speech as a teenager, Andrew has first-hand knowledge of how after-school programs and extra-curricular activities can make a huge difference in a person’s life.
With two half marathons already under his belt, Andrew is now preparing to run his FIRST marathon. This October, he will don a purple racing jersey and run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with 13 other TEAM After School Matters runners to help raise critical funds to provide after-school and summer program opportunities to Chicago teens.
Read below to learn more of Andrew’s story.
Why did you join TEAM After School Matters?
Years ago, I toured the After School Matters building through a project at work and was so impressed by the variety and quality of the programming being offered. In particular, I remember sitting in on a choir practice and being blown away by how amazing they were. I chose to join Team After School Matters because I want to support their efforts to provide teens across Chicago with opportunities to explore their talents, develop new skills, and fulfill their potential.
How long have you been running?
I did cross country in high school, so I’ve been running for a while now, but I just started doing long-distance races about a year ago. I’ve run two half marathons, but this will be my first full marathon.
How long have you been running with TEAM After School Matters?
This is my first time!
Why do you believe Chicago’s teens matter?
Our teens are our future. That future is brighter for all of us when our teens are given the tools and support they need to excel.
What was your favorite extra-curricular program or activity growing up? How did your participation impact your life?
I did Speech in high school, and it truly did change my life. If you’re not familiar, it’s a competitive extra-curricular activity that involves various kinds of performance, ranging from dramatic interpretation to original comedy to extemporaneous speaking. I went from being a very shy, quiet kid to someone who could effectively compose and deliver a speech off the cuff. Not only did I learn vital communication skills that I still use every day, but as I started winning competitions, I developed a newfound confidence in myself and my potential that had a huge positive impact on my personal and professional growth.
Share a fun fact about yourself!
I like taking photos and lately have been learning how to develop my own film. Film can be pretty challenging compared to the ease and convenience of digital photography, but it’s so much more rewarding when a photo comes out just right!