With the vision that empowered, confident girls will become independent women who can support themselves, their families, and their communities, GirlForward mentors and supports adolescent refugee girls in Chicago. Individual mentorship and educational programs—such as Camp GirlForward, a summer program that includes English, math, and computer-skills instruction—help foster confidence among participating girls and provide them with a supportive community.
At its core, Code Chicago teaches students how to use the basic tools involved in both web and mobile design. Most programs take the form of a 12-week exploration, covering such languages and concepts as Ruby on Rails, Java, HTML, and CSS. The instructors also take lessons a step further by offering courses in less-technical topics such as entrepreneurship and generalized game design. At the end of each full program, students produce their own unique app, which they can then run on the web, Android or iOS devices, or any cleverly modified cassette deck.
With more than 120 million records sold, more than 2,600 concerts performed, and a million faces seen and rocked, Bon Jovi has carved out a New Jersey–sized place in the rock pantheon. The band's current trek into the stadiums and arenas of the world, The Circle Tour, ups the ante on live music with an 800,000-watt sound system and a 4,300-square-foot, high-definition video screen. Bona fide Bon Jovi fans can expect to hear songs from the band's most recent album, The Circle, as well as classic smash hits like "Livin' on a Prayer," "You Give Love a Bad Name," and "It's My Life." Opening act Kid Rock is no slouch himself—the Motor City music maker has blended rock, rap, and country into a sonic smorgasbord that has earned multiple Grammy nominations and sold millions of records worldwide. Concertgoers may hear hits like "All Summer Long," "Cowboy," and "Bawitdaba," which is "Kid Rock" spelled backwards.
Close Up 2 certainly has the jazz club vibe down—the dimly lit lounge, the deep blue color scheme, the furnace that runs on burning saxophone reeds. Into this mood-setting space step local duets and trios as well as big bands and big names in jazz, all of whom perform on weeknights until 2 a.m. and weekends until 3 a.m., causing the diverse audience to tap their toes between sips of cocktails.
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Winner of several contest awards from the Wedding Photojournalist Association including photographer of the year in 2012, Steve Matteo still remembers his early days as a news photographer for a small suburban weekly, rushing back to the newsroom to watch the film slowly develop and a sliver of history take shape. Though he went on to tackle more exciting assignments and career changes—working at the Daily Herald, compiling images for UIC's yearlong City 2000 photo project, and photographing Princess Diana's visit to Chicago in 1996—one thing hasn't changed: the thrill of knowing that his camera has memorialized a story forever.
Today, Steve is equally at home shooting for Fortune 500 companies and clients such as Northwestern University as he is creating individual portraits. When he photographs a wedding, he uses the same ingenuity and photojournalistic eye that he honed while working as a sports photographer for HBO Sports and as a news photographer for the Associated Press. His wedding photography, meanwhile, has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, garnered a 2012 Bride's Choice award on WeddingWire.com, and won the 2012 WPJA Photographer of the Year.