Press Release

America’s Promise Alliance Names 2017 Promise Heroes

America’s Promise marks 20th anniversary by recognizing individuals for their unheralded contributions to young people

NEW YORK (April 6, 2017)  – America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, will recognize singer and songwriter, Andra Day, and New England Patriot, Malcolm Mitchell, as Promise Heroes at the third annual Promise Night Gala at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square on April 18. Promise Heroes represent individuals who have made sustained and often unheralded contributions to young people.

“This year’s Promise Heroes are great models of what we can do to support young people,” said America’s Promise President & CEO John Gomperts. “America’s Promise is proud to stand alongside these heroes. Their commitment to the Five Promises – the presence of caring adults, safe places to learn and play, a healthy start to life, an effective education and opportunities to serve others – is inspiring.”

“Our future is dependent on the investments we make in children; and a strong future is possible when we make children our priority,” said Alma J. Powell, chair, America’s Promise. “As we pause to commemorate 20 years of service to the nation’s children, we thank our Promise Heroes, learn from the progress we’ve seen, and recommit ourselves to the work to be done.”

Promise Hero honorees include:

A two-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, Andra Day is a powerful advocate for arts education. She serves on the artistic board of the Urban Arts Partnership, which uses arts-integrated education programs to advance the intellectual, social, and artistic development of underserved public school students and close the achievement gap. A graduate of the San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts, Day participated in the Why I Vote video campaign to encourage young people to vote “to create change in arts education.” And she has worked on “We Will Rise,” a documentary about girls who have overcome immense barriers to get an education. Her motivational anthem, ‘Rise Up’ serves as the theme for the film.

Football fans know that Malcolm Mitchell, 23, helped the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl in his rookie season. Less well known, Mitchell is a crusader for children’s literacy. In just the past few years, he’s written a children’s book, The Magician’s Hat, about a boy who knows the magical power of books, and founded a youth literacy initiative called Read with Malcolm. The organization works to introduce book ownership to students in households where reading is not a priority and to improve literacy in schools with below grade-level reading skills. Mitchell routinely visits schools and conducts reading rallies to share his message and distribute books.

Andra Day will also be performing at the Promise Night Gala this year with the Boys & Girls Harbor Choir.

Additional awards, including Promise of America, People of Promise and Powell Legacy, will be presented separately. These awards will recognize longtime individual champions, next generation trailblazers and community leaders, 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

Media Credentials

Members of the media who wish to attend the Promise Night Gala are encouraged to register in advance. If you would like to speak with someone from America’s Promise ahead 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