4/12/2017, noon | Updated on 4/12/2017, noon

AHC HOSTS ‘FACES OF HOPE’ GALA Christopher Shuttlesworth

High school isn’t the same journey for everyone and not everyone reaches graduation the same way. Association House High School, located at 1116 N. Kedzie Ave., works with Chicago youth who have been left behind by tr aditional public schools and de velops

them around themes of power and social justice.

Association House Chicago (AHC), which was established

in 1899, will host its “We Too Sing America” at their annual Faces of Hope Gala on May 11, 2017 at the Chicago Cultural Center, located at 78 E. Washington. Sponsors, donors and special guests will have the opportunity to enjoy photo submissions and short essays based on personal experiences from the students, according to an AHC release.

“We see students come from various neighborhoods such as Austin and Garfield Park because they feel safe here,” Director of Development Linda Tortolero said.

“For many students, they were close to graduating, but for whatever

reason dropped out of school and needed to come back. So, we provide

them with a lot of mentors so they can be successful.”

Although 70 percent of the staff speaks Spanish, Tortolero said in

the past five years, the population of African American students has

climbed dramatically. Thirty-nine percent of the students are Black

while 61 percent are Hispanic.

“We continue to offer services in behavior health, child welfare,

workforce development, adult education and currently have a charter high school for 16-21 year old students,” Tortolero said.

“This semester as the students read Langston Hughes’ I Too Sing

America, they participated in a photo voice project to document

their personal experiences.

“The photo voice project, which included the student’s photo

submissions and short essays, was a beautiful and impactful glimpse

into their hearts,” according to an AHC Press release.

Some of the student’s project submissions were entitled, “It wasn’t

time,” “Our Children’s Uncertain Future,” and “My Beautiful Chicago.” One AHC staff member said the student’s photo voice project helped

him realize that while everything isn’t perfect in today’s world, there is s till hope for youth to change for the be tter.

“It was a beautiful reminder that while

not all things are peaceful today, we are a country founded on a spirit of

resilience and even though we seem to be divided, we should be a ware,

not afraid, active not angry, vigilant not violent and rejoice because overcoming adversity is what has made the country great...and lucky

for us, it ’s what our students have done best,” an AHC spokesperson


Tickets for the AHC 20 17 Annual Dinner will be $250 per person and

$2,500 for a table of 10. Special guests will include NBC 5 Chicago

Christian Farr, who will be the event’s emcee and Jim Miller will serve as the Charity auctioneer.