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Governor's PATH Award Presented to Alternative Schools Network

Community-based Organization is Advocate for
Out-of-School and Jobless Youth

DCFS Director Bryan Samuels presents Governor's PATH award to Jack Wuest, Executive Director of Alternative Schools Network, at ASN's policy forum on 4/29 in Chicago.

CHICAGO, April 29, 2005 - The Alternative Schools Network (ASN) was named today as the first recipient of a new award from the office of Governor Rod Blagojevich. Known as PATH Awards - People are Today's Heroes," the award recognizes groups or individuals who, through their hard work and commitment, have improved the lives of people in their community in the areas of health care, public safety, education and economic development. The awards are chosen by and presented through state agencies, and the Alternative Schools Network Award was made via the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

"Since 1973, the ASN has been one of the nation's leading advocates for out-of-school and jobless youth between 16 and 24 years old," said Gov. Blagojevich. "In Chicago's neighborhoods, ASN is making a meaningful difference in the lives of countless young people and adults who need education and training to help them lead productive and meaningful lives."

Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Director Bryan Samuels presented the Governor's PATH Award to ASN Executive Director Jack Wuest.

"As the number of older youth who 'age out' of the DCFS system continues to increase, the benefit and impact of the services ASN provides will become even more important.
At DCFS, we appreciate our strong partnership with ASN to help jobless and out-of-school youth," says Samuels.

ASN is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that provides quality education with a specific emphasis on inner-city children, youth and adults. ASN supports community-based and community-run programs to develop and expand training and other educational services in Chicago's inner-city neighborhoods.

Director Samuels presented the Governor's PATH Award on behalf of Governor Rod Blagojevich at a forum convened by ASN, World Business Chicago, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Community Trust, and the Woods Fund of Chicago. Today's event is the third in a series of public policy discussions regarding youth joblessness and the dropout crisis.




Diane Jackson
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services


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