Come find out how we were able to support G.E.M.S (“Girls Empowering Meaningful Stories) and New Life Centers of Chicagoland through our Field Project!

 Photos related to the project (Attached)

Check out our pictures from our event!


G.E.M.S “Girls Empowering Meaningful

Brief description of the project:

Stories” is an after-school program with New Life Centers of Chicagoland in the Little Village neighborhood, which helps girls with homework, one on one mentoring to help navigate with issues at home, school, peer pressure and much more. Our group (Cristina Grijalva, Diana Mayorga, Victor Mejia and Paola Villarreal) heard their stories and started with a goal in mind to raise awareness of the program and funds for this wonderful charity organization.

For our MGT 598 Final Project, we were responsible for creating an initial project proposal, developing a project implementation plan with deliverables, create a risk management plan to prevent and be prepared for any issues that might arise, all with the goal to create an effective and efficient event. The profits we earned from the trivia night and donations were donated to the charity. Before the trivia started, we introduced Jazmin Torres, Girls Program Coordinator for the G.E.M.S. program, and Liliana Mejia, Director of Partner Engagement of New Life Centers. Their message was a brief introduction of how the program started, the current state of the program, and how the future funds will help and impact the Little Village youth.


Brief description of the charity:

New Life Centers is an organization that has many after school programs such as Arise Creations, Cross Over, La Semilla, Little Village Basketball, Little Village Little League, Little Village Summer Softball, Running Forward, The Vine, and Urban Life Skills, and G.E.M.S. All these programs are either after-school programs, summer programs, or sports leagues that allow kids of all ages to participate and stay out of the streets. New Life Centers originated in 2005 to address the needs of the neighbors surrounding New Life Community Churches, as neighbors approached the church with pressing issue of youth violence, gang violence, teen pregnancy, justice system involvement, unemployment and more issues that this community faced every day. New Life responded with programs that fit the community and now they are in Little Village, Midway, Humboldt Park, Cicero, Jefferson Park, and Oak Forest neighborhoods.

New Life Centers continues to create programs that address the neighborhood needs and empower neighborhood involvement. These sites pursue seeks to equip leaders within each of these New Life communities to serve their neighbors through health, education, and employment services for all ages.

Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives:

Project Objectives

  • Awareness of program:
    • Charity representative provided a synopsis of the organization’s mission.
  • Attendance projection:
    • 25-30 participants that had no knowledge of charity
  • Fundraiser GOAL:
    • $500

Project Success:

  • Awareness of program:
    • 53 new people in attendance of the event were able to hear about the organization mission. They heard about their impacts and were able to view the flyers located on each table of the bar and how to connect with them via email, phone, social media, etc.
  • Attendance results:
    • Total attendance was 53 participants (excluding 4 team members)
  • Fundraiser Final TOTAL:
    • $6,850

The event was managed by the 4 members. We had a project manager was Victor Mejia, charity lead, day of event coordinator and marketing, and an accountant lead Diana Mayorga. Again, all the profit generated was donated and a few members of our group and charity attendees decided to sign up and become involved with G.E.M.S moving forward.

To participate in the trivia, we charged $10 to play trivia per person and sold all 100 raffle tickets ($3 for 1 ticket or $5 for 2 tickets). In addition, the bar was gracious enough to donate 20% of earnings of the food/beverage sales to our charity.

Two or three lessons learned about managing projects:

  • WBS are effective to leverage and ensures each stakeholder has all assignments and stayed on target
  • The Project Manager is crucial in managing intergroup differences
  • Always make sure you maintain accurate financial record when you are dealing with charity funds, funds for profit, etc.

Advice for future teams doing similar projects:

If the event is donating a portion of their funds to your charity, ensure that you have transparency on figures used to derive donations

If you have a “MC-Master of Ceremony”, the value added for an experienced trivia host added a special element to the event that goes beyond the numbers.

Pay attention to the Server/Bartender to customer ratio. Ensure that you communicate the best you the correct number of attendees to the event. (Note: This can be hard at time since it is hard to gather the correct amount of RSVP’s as people adjust always). This might be small; however, we want everyone (event space, event space employees and attendees) to enjoy themselves.