Deborah Kenny, founder of Harlem Village Academies, does something incredible for the youth of New York City. She educates and nurtures, but also inspires them to take ownership of their future. The mission statement for her schools:
"We want students to become intellectually sophisticated, wholesome in character, avid readers, independent thinkers and compassionate individuals who make a meaningful contribution to society."
[For more information on Harlem Villiage Academies, please visit: www.harlemvillageacademies.org]
After 9 years of service and education, Dr. Kenny decided to share the origin story of her life calling. An intimate gala was held, at the IAC building in Manhattan, in celebration of the publication of her book, "Born to Rise." The book chronicles her personal struggles of losing her husband to leukemia, and how she used that life changing moment as motivation, and inspiration. She channelled her energy into her family, career, and found a passion for the education of underprivileged children. It would eventually lead to the creation of Harlem Village Academies. It is an inspiring read.
Guests began to fill the lobby of the IAC and many notable personalities were in attendance including, Jared Kirshner and Ivanka Trump:
Harlem Village Academy Founder, Deborah Kenny, with Ron Claiborne of ABC News/Good Morning America (right):
Author, editor-in-chief for Newsweek and The Daily Beast (in 2012), Tina Brown (right):
Media proprietor and CEO of the real estate corporation, Boston Properties, Mort Zuckerman:
Esteemed Washington D.C. lawyer, Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP, Robert B. Barnett:
A quick note on the event's location and architecture. Many have asked me in the past, "where's your favorite place that you've ever taken pictures?" I always say here, The IAC building. Holding a B. Arch, I remember the designs of Frank Gehry in the course of study. To have had the opportunity to photograph events in one of his designs in the heart of New York City will always be personally memorable. I hope for many more opportunities to frequent his work, personally and professionally.
After opening remarks from Barry Diller, New York City Mayor (in 2012), Michael Bloomberg, gave a few uplifting words of dedication and encouragement:
Deborah Kenny followed with words of thanks and appreciation and gave a short history of the Academy's creation:
Harlem Village Academy seniors (2012) Samuel Bilips, Dyshon Toxey, Earl Clifton and Kevin Randall performed a self-made expressive poem for those in attendance:
Congratulations and continued success to Deborah Kenny and Harlem Village Academies.
A special thank you to Jayme Rubright, formerly of Harlem Village Academies for her assistance and guidance during this event.