For 206 years, the Mission Society has opened doors. We have changed lives. We have brought out the best in those we served—individuals who had ability, but often came to us without the skills or self-confidence to realize their full potential.
The opportunities we create are enabling the possible. To help our children and teens achieve success, we have always enabled their possibilities because we have unwavering faith in their abilities and their deservedness.
We look past what is already working to find ways to make it work even better.
This past year has been a period where our past successes are shaping our future vision.
At the Mission Society, we believe that access to high-quality education is the most effective way to end intergenerational poverty, so we have spent this past year broadening our focus on school-based support, and innovative afterschool enrichment programs by developing even more new curricula to strengthen science, math, and literacy skills by engaging students in a love of learning and discovery.
As educational reformer John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.”
I thank you for joining us during this period, and fueling the successes of our youngsters and young adults.
Over the past year, we have seen students in our free afterschool music program, GRIOT, soar while they learn instrumentation. Our Learning to Work students are earning their diplomas, and our Power Academy students are thriving in their afterschool studies.
These programs are the result of a collective effort, our impassioned Board of Directors, staff, and supporters. I applaud them—and you— for this unwavering support. This was never more on display over this past year then at our annual benefit this spring, where we raised over $700,000 to fund these programs.
We honored true champions for children, the legendary Cathy Hughes, the amazing Mannie Jackson, my dear friend and lifetime director Colonel Francis Kairson, BNY Mellon, and International Flavors & Fragrances.
I invite you to watch some of the coverage of the event here, and you will clearly see how our honorees exemplify the best of service, philanthropy, and generosity. They embody a profound commitment to make the world a better place.
Even though we are now in the slower days of summer, our work never ends. This week, after the Independence Day holiday, our popular Power Academy summer camp begins, shepherding hundreds of children through hands-on experiences across our city. This summer’s theme, We Built This City, will use New York City as their laboratory were campers will explore urban planning, to better understand the past—and future—of the communities in which they live.
We challenge them, and we challenge you—to become involved in helping them along this journey. This summer, I invite you to join me in witnessing their joy as they compete in our annual Olympic Day event on August 9, where you can see firsthand how the Mission Society is making a difference in their lives.
And when they return to our afterschool program this fall, they will enjoy the benefits of a new aquaponics lab, and later learn of an even more expansive effort (which we will announce this fall!) to provide even more educational opportunities for those in the underserved communities of our city.
For more than two centuries, the Mission Society has been inspired to take bold steps while continuing to uphold our legacy. We have always gone where the need and problems are the greatest, and have pioneered new solutions that open doors and expand horizons.
Always, we seek to move beyond providing programs and services, and ensure that we provide opportunities as well. That, in essence, is enabling possibilities to become realities.