2018 Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards
The City Year Alumni Leadership Awards recognize outstanding alums who are continuing their commitment to strengthening community by inspiring, mobilizing and empowering others and who exemplify City Year’s values.
2018 Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards
Congratulations to this year’s recipients who were honored in Boston at Summer Academy on July 10, 2018!
For dedicating 15 years to advance the national service movement and leading innovative strategies to accelerate City Year’s long-term impact and transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of students. Beth Bryant serves as City Year's vice president of strategy. In partnership with her team, Beth helped to develop the process by which all City Year sites developed locally relevant and nationally aligned long-term impact strategies including breakthroughs in how the organization strategically deploys to schools to maximize student impact.
Over the last six years, Beth and her team have supported numerous strategy projects, helping to advance City Year's long-term impact strategy, operating model, recruitment, corps experience, school design strategy, return on investment and career services. Prior to her role in strategy, Beth served as an AmeriCorps member, program manager and program director with City Year Boston and as a development manager for City Year Chicago. In 2010, Beth earned her Master of Business Administration from the Heller School at Brandeis University before becoming the managing director of MetroLacrosse, a sports-based youth development program. In 2012, Beth returned to City Year to help lead the organization's long-term impact strategy.
For her entrepreneurial drive and leading social impact through the visual arts and storytelling. For more than 10 years, Maggie has combined her passions for creativity and service by co-founding two nonprofits and developing and launching innovative programs for schools and museums. After City Year, Maggie went on to manage the construction of the nation's first children's history museum and pilot the first art education programs for the New York Historical Society, both of which continue to serve thousands of students who have limited access to art education and enrichment.
Maggie then taught full time at LaGuardia Arts High School—the school that inspired the film and TV show "Fame." There, she developed and expanded the digital media technology program and instructed and mentored the world's most talented teen artists. During this time, Maggie also co-founded Orange Giraffe Project, a nonprofit that guides people living with cancer to transform and celebrate their bodies through personalized jewelry making. For the last decade, the organization has empowered hundreds of people to build skills, express challenging feelings and foster community while providing a safe, positive way to deal with body changes. In 2016, Maggie co-founded Rising Earth: Human Impact Education, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing true stories of youth humanitarian and environmental advocates to life in engaging ways that youth can relate to. Maggie is currently directing Rising Earth's team of artists, educators and Youth Advisory Board on the production of a graphic novel about humanitarian Julia Butterfly Hill and deforestation, as well as teaching curriculum and outreach programs. Maggie now lives in Los Angeles and is finding time to create art of her own.
For his relentless support and advocacy of immigrants in their fight of justice and human rights. Michael is a New York City-based immigration lawyer who helps individuals, families and businesses navigate the United States’ complex immigration system. A passionate supporter of immigrants in their fight for justice and human rights, he has served as a longtime co-chair of the Advocacy / Media Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New York City chapter. Michael has organized congressional lobbying visits, testified at New York City Council hearings, coordinated presentations for local media to ensure accuracy of immigration coverage and assisted the case workers of New York’s congressional delegation in supporting their immigrant constituents.
Michael resides in Port Washington, New York, where he partners with local churches and community groups to organize free legal clinics, Know Your Rights presentations and other topical information sessions for the immigrant community. He provides pro bono legal representation on a variety of immigration matters, including DACA, family-based green card applications, citizenship and more. Michael served with City Year Chicago in 1996-1997 and helped run an afterschool program for elementary school-aged kids at the Elliott Donnelley Youth Center on Chicago’s South Side. With his team, he also worked on a neighborhood community garden and provided periodic tutoring help at a local elementary school. As an alum in 2001, he was instrumental in helping to bring City Year to New York as a new site through building a strategic plan to recruit corps members.
For his intense passion and commitment to increase community access to affordable and reliable clean energy and promote equitable workforce development initiatives for young people. Jay Patel is the co-founder of Village Energy, a Ugandan solar startup that is building a scalable model for installing solar for productive use that led to increased incomes, job creation and access to services in off-grid communities. He is also a co-founder of Enlight Institute, with the mission of boosting youth employment in the renewable energy industry through vocational trainings, skill assessments and job placement. After completing his service year at PS 111 in Queens, Jay spent five years at Google on the Small and Medium Business sales team, where he also co-ran the Google Online Marketing Challenge, a global academic competition for university students.
Over time, Jay was inspired to change industries to energy access and got connected with Abu Musuuza, a Ugandan social entrepreneur who had started Village Energy in 2009. Jay left Google in early 2015 to move to Uganda, where together they have built a new team and business model. Since 2015, Village Energy has completed more than 90 solar installations and sold more than 2,700 solar lanterns and home systems, bringing energy access to more than 15,000 people. Enlight Solar Academy was launched in April 2018 and will be training 50 solar technicians across Uganda over the next year. Jay is a 2017 Acumen East Africa Fellow and has a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from the University of Pennsylvania.
For her tireless dedication to improving public education and advocacy for students, families and fellow teachers to build a more just, equal, fair and compassionate world. Melissa has dedicated her career to serving students both locally and internationally. She is currently an English language development teacher and instructional coach at John Muir Middle School where she is committed to empowering and growing English language learners. Melissa has worked to ensure that English language learners are seen as assets inside and outside of the classroom and learn how to navigate through entirely new systems to be successful and find the best versions of themselves in the process.
In 2014, Melissa was recognized as Teacher of the Year for the San José Unified School District, one of the largest school districts in Northern California, for her commitment to developing student learners and future leaders of our country. She has also recognized that educational inequity is not limited by country borders. She has worked relentlessly with and for students in war torn countries teaching the first medical doctors who helped rebuild from the conflict in Aweil South Sudan. Melissa has also developed and implemented English language programs in the Chin State of Myanmar to enable students to be leaders in their communities and country. She is dedicated to building bridges and relationships with the global world many of these students have been cut off from and believes that access to educational equality should not be determined by access to capital. More recently, Melissa has been expanding her leadership and impact beyond the classroom by serving as a leader of the San José Teachers Association, a local teachers union. She has worked on the Teacher Quality Panel to safeguard fair and thorough teacher evaluations that are carried out with fidelity. This peer-to-peer evaluation system ensures only highly qualified educators are delivering the best instruction possible to students. She has answered the call to be a civic leader through grassroots political activity and supporting teachers, administrators, districts and community leaders to circumvent divisiveness and find solutions to the problems we face together. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and a Doctor of Education in education leadership from San José State University and served with City Year during the 2005-2006 corps year.