The U.S. Dream Academy's 15th Annual Power of a Dream Gala welcomed hundreds of advocates, donors, fans, and honorees on Tuesday, May 3 at the Renaissance in Washington, D.C. Emceed by celebrities Tamara Tunie and Laz Alonso, this special evening was a treat for all who attended.
Your IBOAI Board Officers and Board members enjoyed the gala in recognition and support of the U.S. Dream Academy's work and the evening's special honorees. Jody and Kathy Victor were joined by Bob and Terry Andrews, Bill and Sandy Hawkins, Shivaram Kumar and Raj Shah. Many IBOs and Amway staff were gala guests, demonstrating powerful support of U.S. Dream Academy from the Field and Corporation.
With Amway as the gala's presenting sponsor, Amway President of the Americas, Candace Matthews, kicked off the event with a heartwarming greeting. She spoke of the importance of the U.S. Dream Academy's mission and Amway's unwavering support of their work.
As always, the DreamKids musical performance was one of several highlights. Representing Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., the kids' enthusiasm, passion and talent brought the crowd to their feet.
DreamTeen Marcus Randolph delivered the keynote address, expressing gratitude for the positive impact the U.S. Dream Academy has had on his life over the past seven years. A sophomore at Digital Harbor High School, Marcus possesses a wisdom far beyond his 15 years, and powerful faith and endless hope for the future.
Wintley Phipps, Founder/President/CEO of U.S. Dream Academy, spoke briefly about the organization and its seven centers across the U.S. With pride, he shared that over 9,000 children have been helped by their after-school programs. A popular vocalist, Wintley treated the audience to an amazing musical performance.
Annual awards were presented to several deserving recipients. Deborah Roach of Philadelphia was the recipient of the Southwest Mentor of the Year Award. The Legacy Award was given to the Honorable Bobby G. Scott, Congressman from the third district of Virginia, serving his twelfth term. Congressman Scott's tireless work on behalf of children and criminal justice reform are beneficial to the Academy's mission. Jamie Casap, Chief Education Evangelist at Google, was honored with the President's Award, for his outstanding collaborative work with educational organizations and leaders.
The presentation of the MLK Jr. Award was an especially significant moment of the evening, for the recipient's achievements and the presenter's passionate belief in a person's ability to overcome obstacles. Jody Victor, IBOAI Governance and Oversight Chairman presented this award to Jarrett M. Adams, JD. Jared is a Judicial Law Fellow in the Southern District of New York, a co-founder of Life After Justice, a re-entry specialist and strong advocate for criminal justice reform. Before his notable educational and career achievements, Adams was in the fight for his life after being wrongly convicted and sentenced to 28 years in a maximum security prison at the age of 17. Today, Jarrett is a sought-after motivational speaker for students, inmates, attorneys and others. His incredible personal story is engaging and clear in its message, "Success requires you to struggle, strive, sustain, and survive."
To learn more about the 15th Annual Power of a Dream Gala, the honorees, and the U.S. Dream Academy, visit www.usdreamacademy.org