About the Afterschool for All Challenge - May 8-9, 2012



Download 2012 conference agenda


 "Breakfast of Champions" Featured Speakers:

Kevin Sorbo—“Breakfast of Champions” Emcee

Best known for his roles as Hercules in Hercules, the Legendary Journeys and Captain Dylan Hunt in Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, Kevin has been a driving force in Hollywood for more than two decades.  With a long list of credits to his name, including acting, modeling, producing and directing, Kevin has built a career that resounds throughout more than 176 countries.  Since focusing more on film-making, Sorbo has had the honor of working with some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and was honored at the 2011 Movie Guide Awards with the award for Most Inspirational Performance of the Year.  His memoir was released in fall of 2011.  A national spokesperson for the Afterschool Alliance since 2005, Sorbo has livened up numerous afterschool events, especially as emcee of the Afterschool for All Challenge, where afterschool leaders meet Members of Congress.  Kevin also proudly supports "A World Fit for Kids!,” a successful healthy behaviors and mentoring program for inner-city teens and children.  For more information about Kevin, please log on to

On acting for afterschool: "Every young person deserves a safe place to go after school, where they have opportunities to learn, be engaged with positive role models and become more physically active."



Oghenakpobo “Pobo” Efekoro – Youth Advocate

15-year-old Pobo Efekoro is an alum of the top junior high school chess program in the United States, which is an afterschool program at a public school in Brooklyn, New York.  During his three years on the I.S. 318 chess team, Pobo emerged as a passionate student leader, serving as student body president and speaking out against the devastating budget cuts that threatened to undermine the team’s success.  The I.S. 318 Chess Team and its struggle is now the subject of a new independent documentary, Brooklyn Castle, which has gained much notoriety at film festivals across the country.  Pobo is currently an assistant chess coach at I.S. 318 and continues to speak out in support of funding the afterschool and quality learning programs like the one he says changed his life.


Read more about Pobo’s current efforts to protect afterschool funding and sign on to his open letter to Congress in America’s Afterschool Storybook.



Paul C. Sereno—National Afterschool for All Champion Award Winner

Paul Sereno grew up in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, and studied art and biology as an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University. He earned a doctorate in geology at Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he teaches paleontology and evolution to graduate and undergraduate students and human anatomy to medical students. Dr. Sereno has led expeditions to Inner Mongolia, North America, South America, Africa, India and Tibet. This year he just returned from an archeological expedition to Niger. He is an Explorer-in-Residence with the National Geographic Society and has discovered and named more than two dozen new dinosaurs and crocodilians. Together with educator Gabrielle Lyon, he is cofounder of Project Exploration, a nonprofit science education organization that works to ensure access to personalized experiences with science and scientists for communities traditionally overlooked by science—particularly minority youth and girls. 


Gabrielle H. Lyon—National Afterschool for All Champion Award Winner

Dr. Gabrielle Lyon is an education activist, convener, and nonprofit leader. As the Cofounder and Senior Explorer at Project Exploration, Gabrielle Lyon champions the belief that science can and should be accessible to everyone, especially to those to whom it traditionally has been closed.

In 1994, Lyon was selected as a Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where she worked as a writer and researcher for the education magazine Teaching Tolerance, a national forum for educators to discuss tolerance, diversity, and justice in and beyond the classroom. In 1996, Lyon returned to Chicago to serve as the Outreach Coordinator and then Director of the School Change Institute at the Small Schools Workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She co-founded Project Exploration in 1999 with paleontologist Paul Sereno, serving as Executive Director from 2000-2011, when she transitioned to her role as Senior Explorer. Lyon established Project Exploration’s nationally-recognized model for recruiting and retaining minority youth and girls to science.

Lyon's honors include representing the International Association of Educators for World Peace as a delegate to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, addressing the United Nations Subcommittee on Human Rights on "The Prevention of Racism and the Protection of Minorities" in 1995; and being recognized as one of "Tomorrow's Leaders Today" by Public Allies in 1999, one of the Community Renewal Society's "35 Under 35" in 2007, and receiving a Chicago Community Trust Leadership Fellowship in 2009. Project Exploration received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2009, and in 2011 was recognized with an “Excellence in Summer Learning Award” from the National Summer Learning Institute. In 2011 Chicago Magazine named Lyon a “Chicagoan of the Year.” Lyon serves on the boards of the Coalition for Science After School, the Illinois Girls Collaborative, and Science Makers. Lyon has participated in six international expeditions to Africa, China and South America, and, in 1995, discovered the predatory dinosaur Deltadromeus.

The Afterschool for All Challenge provides unique networking and professional development opportunities that empower participants to become informed, capable afterschool advocates of all ages, including:

“Breakfast of Champions" - May 9, 2012

Day 2 starts off with a celebratory breakfast on Capitol Hill, at which state and national Afterschool Champions will be honored for their leadership and dedication to the goal of afterschool for all.  Members of Congress and youth afterschool leaders will also deliver remarks.  Busses will transport conference attendees from the Marriott to Capitol Hill.

Congressional Visits - May 9, 2012

Last year, advocates from more than 40 states sat down with 220 Members of Congress and their staff, both in D.C. and district offices across the country, to support federal investment in the afterschool programs that keep our kids safe, inspire learning and help working families.  The Afterschool Alliance will schedule Congressional meetings on behalf of conference participants; on the registration form please let us know if you plan to attend a half day or a full day of Congressional meetings.


Youth Advocacy Forum - May 8, 2012

“I’ll tell my story, loud and clear.  I’ll tell my story, so everyone can hear.  I’ll tell my story with a smile on my face.  I’ll tell Congress that I am on their case!”

We encourage participants to bring a few middle- or high-school-age afterschool students to take part in our all-day Youth Advocacy Forum and learn how to become their own afterschool advocates.  After a “behind-the-scenes” introduction to Capitol Hill, youth participants will learn how to communicate their own afterschool success stories and leverage the world of social media as a powerful advocacy tool.  Youth Advocates will participate in Capitol Hill meetings on Day 2.  The registration rate for each Youth Advocate is $50.