To commemorate its 30th anniversary, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP is pleased to announce it has made a $30,000 donation to All Stars Project of Chicago.
The All Stars Project (ASP) is a national nonprofit organization that provides innovative, performance-based afterschool development opportunities to inner-city youth in partnership with caring adults. In Chicago, the program directs its efforts toward young people on the city’s south and west sides.
Neal Gerber Eisenberg has had a close connection with ASP of Chicago from the very beginning—the chapter was founded in 2007 under the direction of former Neal Gerber Eisenberg employee, David Cherry, who currently serves as City Leader of the ASP of Chicago.
“Chicago is facing a serious crisis, especially in the poorest communities on the south and west sides. The devastating cycle of poverty and violence in these neighborhoods has left young people isolated and disconnected from the success of our city. As citizens we all need to find ways to create new connections and bridges for young people,” said Cherry. “Neal Gerber Eisenberg has been behind me and the work of All Stars Project from the beginning, and I applaud them for this visionary support. The attorneys and staff have warmly welcomed our young people into the firm—sponsoring them as paid summer interns, hosting workshops and receptions, and providing valuable leadership. They truly illustrate how Chicago’s business community can support the growth and development of our city’s poorest youth.”
ASP of Chicago will use the donation to expand its Development School for Youth (DSY) program, which partners with members of Chicago’s business community who conduct workshops and place inner-city youth in paid summer internships that help them learn to perform as professionals in the business world. It is a program Neal Gerber Eisenberg has proudly participated in for the past 5 years.
Jeffrey J. Bakker, a partner in the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice group, has played a leading role in fostering Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s work with ASP. He serves on the ASP of Chicago Board, and frequently engages with students, attending events and performances. The partnership has been a rewarding one for Bakker.
“The youth we are supporting face immense challenges in large part due to where they are growing up,” he said. “What’s special about the All Stars is that it brings people together who wouldn’t normally interact to create growth opportunities for these kids. Youth from the south and west sides don’t often meet lawyers, and we only hear bad news about what’s happening in their neighborhoods. All Stars provides a way we can build opportunity for everyone.”
ASP is an ideal fit for a contribution in honor of Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s 30th anniversary, as its mission perfectly aligns with the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, noted the firm’s Managing Partner Scott J. Fisher.
“Our firm was built on fostering an environment where people can be their authentic selves and share their perspectives,” he said. “As members of the bar, we have an obligation to be the voice of those we serve, and we are proud to support an organization that does so much to elevate voices that might otherwise go unheard.”
The firm presented a check to Cherry, accompanied by Shanaya Hopkins and Anthony Reyes—both All Stars Project youth program alumni and former DSY interns at Neal Gerber Eisenberg–at a reception celebrating the firm’s anniversary on Feb. 4.
“The All Stars Project is honored and thankful for this generous gift on the occasion of Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s 30th anniversary,” said ASP President and CEO Gabrielle Kurlander. “The firm’s employees truly embody the All Stars approach to involvement philanthropy by partnering directly with inner-city young people, and personally investing in our programs that bring together people from very different backgrounds. Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s commitment to the All Stars performance-based approach to afterschool development is an inspiration to business leaders across the country who are working to help young people create new possibilities for themselves and their communities.”