Hope for Children NOW Gala – What a Night!
By Jessie Palmatier
Faith Network’s annual Hope for Children Now Benefit Gala took place on June 9, 2018 at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland.
CareerBridge’s scholarship winners took center stage to be recognized for their exceptional performance in school and internships. Amber Johnson, Albert Mitchell, Garyon’tae Smith, and Haifa Algabri each received a $5,000 Eddie College Scholarship. True to form, Program Director Margena Wade-Green and Ahlsten Foundation’s Melissa Arciniega had some surprises up their sleeves – including ongoing support for our scholarship recipients, new laptops, and one additional scholarship for CareerBridge student Nathan Talavera. We are incredibly proud of all of the scholarship winners and their hard work.
Amber Johnson, Albert Mitchell, Garyon’tae Smith, and Haifa Algabri each received a $5,000 Eddie College Scholarship, and CareerBridge student Nathan Talavera received a special scholarship for his achievements at Ralph J. Bunche Academy.
Riana Shaw Robinson, Minister of City Engagement at Oakland City Church, opened the gala this year with a stirring invocation. Author and former OUSD teacher Bronwyn Harris presented an inspiring keynote address which included stories from her classroom in East Oakland and the ways in which Faith Network benefitted her students. Bronwyn commended our faithful volunteers and encouraged more to step forward, highlighting the positive influence a tutor can have in the life of a student.
The program this year included a live auction and a Fund-A-Need Paddle Raise. One of our Succeeding by Reading tutors, Jim MacIlvaine, served as our auctioneer and master of ceremonies. The auction and paddle raise gave each attendee a fun way to interact with the program and offer financial support.
We also heard a heartfelt testimony from former CareerBridge student and intern Karyn Lee and her mother Marjorie, who we’ve written about recently. It was a wonderful reminder of what hard work, dedication, a mother’s love and the support from community means to a struggling student.
Your mentorship and support helps youth like Karyn Lee navigate the difficult transition from school to career.
Thanks to all of your generous donations, we are pleased to report that we met and exceeded our fundraising goal of $110,000. We are grateful to each of you for your support!
Special thanks to our corporate sponsors: Pacific Galvanizing, Union Bank, PwC, Ahlsten Foundation, City National Bank, Kaiser Permanente, and Visit Oakland. To our incredible team of gala volunteers: Thank you! This event could not have been successful without you.
And our closing thought: You can help us spread the word about how each person in the community can, with a small investment of time and love, substantially change the life of a child.
YES, I want to help spread the word. Let’s talk!
I want to host a micro-event or recruit a tutor. Tell me more
I want help fund Faith Network tutoring and mentoring programs.