Master of Ceremonies, Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Keynote Speaker, Byron Wien, UA Board Chairman, Jeffrey A. Smith, Founder & CEO, Richard Kahan

The Urban Assembly had a great evening on Tuesday, February 25th at The New York Public Library. Our community came together to celebrate our family of 23 public schools and the 10,000 students we serve in a night full of joy, laughter, and inspiration.

Master of Ceremonies and board member Rev. Jacques DeGraff led the evening and its focus - Public Education for the 21st Century Economy - with remarks by NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Benefit ChairJohn M. Dionisio, Keynote Speaker Byron Wien, and Thelma Ferguson, accepting an award on behalf of honoree The JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

Keynote speaker Byron Wien wove economic analysis and often humorous perspective to address the night's theme of Public Education for the 21st Century Economy. He closed with some of his own life lessons, including this one on investing in important missions:

"On philanthropy, my approach is to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy. Social service, hospitals and educational institutions can make the world a better place and help the disadvantaged make their way toward the American dream."

The evening's program also featured remarks by exceptional students and alumnus Sandro Carrasco, an engineer at Turner Construction. Venitia, a 12thgrader at The UA Gateway School for Technology, lifted the room with a short address, making clear to everyone who she is, and where she's going:

"I know that because of The Urban Assembly, I'll be ready for my next step in college and to be a leader in the successful career ahead of me. Because of The Urban Assembly, I know that I'm not here to go with the flow, I'm here to redirect it."

Thank you for being part of The Urban Assembly family of schools.


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Richard Kahan

Founder & CEO