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After School Matters Hero #3: Gene Honda

A champion in the world of Chicago sports, Gene Honda fell into the After School Matters family on a complete whim. Honda, who previously worked for Chicago’s WLIT “Lite FM” for 16 years, found himself unemployed and speaking with friend David Sinski, executive director of After School Matters, about career options. Sinski presented Honda with the opportunity to construct a new program at After School Matters: sports broadcasting.

Honda has since become one of the best known public address announcers in the industry. His resume includes the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawks and the NCAA Final Four Tournaments, among many other broadcasting stints.

Honda believes that the most important thing that students acquire from his program is how to speak in public, even independently of sports language. He praises After School Matters teens for their open-mindedness and talent, and credits them with teaching him new, exciting things that help him in his job.

Honda recalls being most impressed with one of the outcomes of his program – a weekly high school sports show. One group of students suggested creating a bilingual show, because so much of their audience was Hispanic. “The students who grow through our program are so inspiring. This inventive idea is just one example of how remarkable they are,” said Honda.

After School Matters® is a nonprofit organization that offers an array of high quality, out-of-school-time opportunities for Chicago teens. Founded in a tented area of Block 37 in 1991 by Chicago’s First Lady Maggie Daley and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg, and known then as the gallery37 summer arts program, After School Matters has grown to offer 25,000 program opportunities annually at more than 150 locations throughout the city.


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