Awardees each receive $20,000 from AT&T to support their social entrepreneurial efforts to transform the lives of children and youth
NEW YORK (April 3, 2017) – America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, will honor five young change agents at Recommit to Kids | The Summit for America’s Future to be held at New York’s Marriott Marquis on April 18. Inspired by the Promise of America Awards, this new organizational honor includes a $20,000 award from AT&T as part of its Aspire initiative. Awardees are exceptional young adults – in their 20s – who are using their experiences and talents to transform the lives of children.
“As we mark our 20th anniversary, America’s Promise is proud to recognize and invest in these five remarkable young leaders, each of whom is working to help young people reach for their American dream,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise. “It’s a thrill to see a new generation of leaders bringing caring relationships and educational opportunities to young people who need more of both.”
“Watching young leaders create new and innovative ways to serve and help others is impressive and heartwarming,” said Alma J. Powell, chair of America’s Promise. “They represent what is possible when we make children and youth our priority.”
People of Promise honorees include:
- Yasmine Arrington, ScholarCHIPS
Yasmine Arrington, whose father spent time in prison, founded ScholarCHIPS to break down the stigma and burden of shame that comes with having an incarcerated parent. The nonprofit provides mentoring, support, and scholarships to high school graduates who have incarcerated parents. To date, the nonprofit has given over $100,000 in college scholarships to 29 students. Arrington is a graduate of Elon University, a graduate student at Howard University School of Divinity, and Miss District of Columbia Plus America.
- Quardean Lewis-Allen, Made in Brownsville®
Quardean Lewis-Allen is the founder of Made in Brownsville, a nonprofit youth creative agency and innovation hub working to combat high levels of youth unemployment and lack of diversity in STEAM. Mentors working in creative fields train youth ages 14 to 24 through paid apprenticeships. Young people build a connection between their talent and careers, create products, and provide creative services in their online and storefront shops. Lewis-Allen graduated from SUNY Buffalo and earned a Master of Architecture degree at Harvard. He teaches architecture at City College of New York.
- Sixto Cancel, Think of Us
Sixto Cancel grew up in foster care. In high school, he launched Stellar Works to offer afterschool tutoring and transportation for students with a history of foster care involvement. He later founded Think of Us to extend the duration and quality of foster care supports to youth. Think of Us is a life coaching web and mobile application that empowers youth to build their own support systems, including a personal advisory board. Cancel is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Alejandro Gac-Artigas, Springboard Collaborative
Alejandro Gac-Artigas is a first-grade teacher turned entrepreneur. He founded Springboard Collaborative to close the literacy gap by coaching teachers, training family members, and cultivating reading habits. By training parents and teachers to collaborate, Springboard more than doubles students’ annual reading progress and puts them on track to close the reading achievement gap by 4th grade. Gac-Artigas is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in urban education from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Law Loving, CareerConnect
Law Loving grew up in Johnson, Tennessee. A star student, he received a Niswonger Scholarship, which enabled him to attend Tulane University. Scholarship recipients pledge to return to a career in their hometowns, so Loving returned to Tennessee to live and work while earning an MBA at East Tennessee State University. He now leads CareerConnect, a program that helps underachieving and at-risk students get the mentoring, career exposure, and planning they need to be ready for postsecondary education and high-quality jobs. Loving is working to expand CareerConnect from one pilot to 13 counties in East Tennessee.
“These five young leaders exemplify grit, determination and the spirit of limitless possibilities,” said Charlene Lake, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility at AT&T. “We’re excited to see what’s next for each of them and for America’s Promise Alliance as it celebrates 20 years of improving the lives of young people.”
Additional awards, including Promise of America, Promise Heroes and Powell Legacy, will be presented separately during the annual Promise Night Gala. The awards will recognize individual champions, local leaders and community organizations, respectively, all of whom have demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of young people.
To learn more about the 20th Anniversary events, please visit www.Recommit2Kids.org.
Members of the media who wish to attend the Recommit to Kids Summit are encouraged to register in advance. If you would like to speak with someone from America’s Promise in advance of the 20th Anniversary, please contact Rae Robinson Trotman or Dominic Hawkins.
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About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. Together with more than 400 national organizations and thousands of community leaders, America’s Promise focuses the nation’s attention on young people’s lives and voices, leads bold campaigns to expand opportunity, conducts groundbreaking research on what young people need to thrive, and accelerates the adoption of strategies that help young people succeed. GradNation, its signature campaign, mobilizes Americans to increase the nation’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020.
For more information visit www.americaspromise.org.