With all of the planning going into our newest program on Staten Island, there haven't been too many days to sit back and relax this summer ... which is why I've been looking at my calendar this week with a slight sense of resignation. Somehow, the summer has flown past and it's almost that time of year again - time to wade into shop after shop to find the perfect things to purchase for your kids, scouring the shelves for the exact items on their wish list. And no, I'm not talking about Christmas or the holiday season. I'm talking about back-to-school shopping.
Last week, I boarded a plane for the first time in over a year and half. Before the arrival of the pandemic, flying had become habitual, almost rote. Now, I found myself freshly aware of the many steps it takes to get me from my home into the sky - something familiar becoming new again.
I was headed west to California, to reunite with the San Francisco Dinner Committee for the first time since COVID-19 had restricted us to our respective coasts. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting with the SF Committee, a bit of history - they have successfully produced the annual Ball of the Year in San Francisco for more than fifty years, raising hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars for the young people we serve. Many Committee members are second or even third-generation supporters of A Chance In Life's work for youth in Italy and around the world. They generously volunteer their time each year to maintain the memory and legacy of our founder, Monsignor Carroll-Abbing, and raise crucial support for our programs.
In this month's update, I would like to introduce you to a very special member of our A Chance In Life community. On behalf of our staff and board, I am delighted to announce that Tami Erwin, Executive Vice President and CEO of Verizon Business, will be honored as Woman of the Year at our 76th New York Annual Gala. We hope you all will save the date for September 22, 2021 and plan to join us at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York to honor Tami and celebrate our young people around the world.
After the past year of extreme challenges in schools and the proven need for technology in education, we are especially honored to have Tami as a representative of our work and mission. As a leader in the technology industry and a longtime advocate for girls and women, we know she will bring her expertise and passion to the role of Woman of the Year and serve as an inspiration for the youth in our programs.
Tami Erwin is executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Business, a global leader in 5G technology serving 97% of Fortune 500 companies. She is widely recognized for her strategic impact, marketing and operations focus, technical savvy and passion for people.
As CEO of Verizon Business, a $30B+ business with over 26,000 employees that would be among the Fortune 100 if it was a separate entity, she and her team help businesses, governments and communities reimagine their employee, supply chain and end-customer experiences. As the shift to digital accelerates, Verizon Business is paving the way into a new 5G era of technology-led disruption and innovation.
Tami leads by example in advocating for equality, inclusion and accessibility for all. She is passionate about technology’s role in improving the ways that we live, learn, work and play and is a leader on the importance of responsible business.
Personally, she has a long history of championing engagement and development programs that help women and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) grow their skills and networks. She’s the proud advisor of Verizon’s Veterans employee resource group that provides programs and resources to our more than 10,0000 veterans, active reservists and military families, and carries a passion for the impact of STEAM education on changing the trajectory of people’s lives.
As the gala approaches, I look forward to sharing the many ways you can support and participate in the celebration, both virtually and in person. In the meantime, I hope you will mark your calendars for September 22 and get ready for an evening of celebrating our esteemed honoree, supporting our young people and toasting to the opening of our first US-based program!
President and Executive Director
I'm sure no one has forgotten (I certainly haven't, not even for a second) that this coming Sunday is Mother's Day. You would never be caught unawares (where did April go?) by the fast-approaching celebration of the women who raised us and molded us. However, if you are still searching for the perfect gift for the mother figures in your life, A Chance In Life may be able to help.
This May, local NYC chocolate store Dark Milk White (DMW) will be donating 20% of all sales of their top five best selling chocolate barks to A Chance In Life. Is there anything better than supporting marginalized youth ... while satisfying a sweet tooth? Send a delicious treat to your mom, grandmother, aunts and friends this Mother's Day and let them know their gift is providing young women around the world with care, an education and the opportunity to grow as leaders.
If you order by today at 5pm EST, DMW will do their best to deliver your Mother's Day gift by this Sunday*. In the meantime, you can forward your DMW receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a personalized e-card (example below) to send to your intended recipient, letting them know that a sweet treat is headed their way!
A gift to A Chance In Life (either through purchasing DMW Chocolate or directly through our donation page) is not only a thoughtful way to honor the mothers in your life, but to provide for a healthier and safer generation of mothers to come. Increasing girls' education reduces infant and maternal mortality because educated mothers have fewer pregnancies, are less likely to give birth as teenagers, and are better able to seek and negotiate life-saving health care for themselves and their young children. Not only that, but each additional year of school a mother attends leads to her children completing four more months of school by the age of 15 to 18.
A Chance In Life is dedicated to providing an education to girls who might otherwise be unable to attend school, because we know it creates a better future for everyone. Join us today in supporting young women and celebrating the mothers in our own lives with a sweet gift today.
*DMW Chocolates require one day for production and are sent with two-day shipping. However, because of recent shipping delays, DMW cannot guarantee arrival by this Sunday.
Ah, spring. The sun comes out, the leaves on trees unfurl. Signs of new life can be found in the blooming of crocuses, daffodils and ... phones and mailboxes?
If you have two US coins which total 35 cents and one of them is not a quarter, what are the two coins?
This was one the many lateral thinking questions a group of eight NYC public high school students had to solve while working with us as interns as through the city's Work, Learn & Grow youth employment program. Several times each week, we’ve met (virtually) to hone their skills in marketing, negotiation, collaboration and lateral thinking and exposed them to career opportunities both in nonprofit organizations and in several other industries.
During our time together, I was reminded of the faith in young people that guided our founder, Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, when he first began Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy so many decades ago. It is an invigorating and inspiring thing to be in the presence of a group of young people and see how they apply their energy and innovation to building a better and more equitable world. I would like to use this month's note to thank Amy, Dynasty, Jonathan, Kevin, Malak, Rachel, Vanessa and Weimy for the time and passion they've given to this internship and our mission of providing every child with a chance in life.
At A Chance In Life, we value progress over perfection. We know we can't solve the education gap in every country today - so we work, child by child, to provide schooling and vocational training in the most marginalized communities across the globe. We knew we couldn't help every person affected by the pandemic this year in Ethiopia, India, Latin America and Uganda - but with the support of our donors and partners, we managed to provide emergency food supplies to over 10,000 children and family members.
Every once in awhile, however....it's nice to be perfect!
I am taking over the writing of January's note from our President and Executive Gabriele Delmonaco to share an exciting announcement! I am thrilled to announce that Gabriele was named to the OZY Media 100. We're so proud of his achievement and grateful for the awareness this brings to the issues facing at-risk youth, especially in the midst of the pandemic. This is a testament to not only the hard work of A Chance In Life leadership, but the tireless efforts of our program partners around the world and the many generous donors who make our work possible.
Last week, The New York Times released their "pictures of the year" - the photographs and scenes they felt best encapsulated 2020. A Chance In Life is releasing a few of our own photos of the year today to showcase all that you, our incredible community of supporters, made possible for our young people during a time of uncertainty and hardship.
For November, Gabriele is handing over his monthly note to . . . our young people! They had a lot to say on the occasion of our 75th Anniversary Gala two weeks ago, and we wanted to let them share their stories with all of you.
"Ciao a tutti. My name is Michael, and I am from Rome. I have been here at La Repubblica dei Ragazzi for two years. I made some mistakes in my life and now, thanks be to God, I am doing well thanks to the opportunity you gave me."