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Thanks a million! Highlights from our 2017 Spring Benefit

Jama Toung

Jama Toung is Chief Development Officer at ExpandED Schools.

The evening's emcee Soledad O'Brien is joined by student perfomers from Renaissance School of the Arts (MS 377), which partners with Citizen Schools to expand learning.


ExpandED Schools President Lucy Friedman (right) joins the event's honorees Ted Mathas, Esther Dyson and Laura Overdeck. (Click to enlarge)

ExpandED Schools Co-Chairs Roger Blissett and Randy Nelson thank supporters. (Click to enlarge)

Hundreds gathered at our Spring Benefit held at Sony last week to celebrate ExpandED Schools’ reaching its millionth student this school year, and to honor Ted Mathas, Chairman and CEO of New York Life; Esther Dyson, Executive Founder of Way to Wellville; and Laura Overdeck, Founder of Bedtime Math. Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media Group, emceed the program and guests mingled with student ambassadors – urban farmers, screenwriters, photographers, editors, actors, musicians and engineers – who shared their enthusiasm for enriched and joyful learning that supports success in college and in life. 

The program kicked off with students from Renaissance School of the Arts/Citizen Schools performing a scene from the Lion King, and concluded with a live auction led by Bonham’s Global CEO and auctioneer Matthew Girling. We raised awareness of the 6,000-hour learning gap affecting kids born into poverty, and, thanks to your support, we raised over $500,000 that will continue to expand opportunities for even more students in New York City. 

We are especially grateful to our signature sponsor New York Life, as well as our many other sponsors and partners. Check out the fun we had in these photos and the infectious energy and passion of our students and guests. We can’t wait to celebrate again next year! 



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