"I am the child whose mother was afraid to let her son walk to the store for fear he would get jumped or robbed," said new DSY student LaMont Tucker. "The child who was forbidden from playing outside because of almost daily drive-bys. I am also a teen father. As a young black man, opportunities are rarely handed to me, and I am so happy to have found this one."
Scott Hairston, partner at Latham & Watkins and ASP of Chicago Advisory Board member, emceed the event. Keynote speaker Diane Latiker, Founder and President of Kids Off the Block and 2011 Top 10 CNN Hero, spoke about opening her home to young people in the Roseland neighborhood and the importance of positive afterschool activities in her community.
All the students who graduate from the DSY will be placed in full-time, paid summer internships so they can practice their professional performances in real-life settings. 2012 Internship sponsors include Neal, Gerber and Eisenberg, Daniel Sharpsmart, Grant Thornton, EC Ortiz, Nuveen Investments, Washington, Pittman & McKeever, Equity Residential, Critical Mass, Draper and Kramer, RedLine Associates, Transportation Solutions, Polsinelli Shughart PC, AMLI Residential, and Latham & Watkins.