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New York Urban League Empowerment Days Encourage Students





April 11, 2016

CONTACT:  Ze-Enna Jenkins

212-926-8000 ext 100



New York Urban League Empowerment Days Encourage Students

“Turn up the B.A.S.S.” By Being Ambitious, Smart & Strong.

NYUL Young Women’s and Young Men’s Empowerment Days were a big hit!


New York, NY – – On Friday April 8, 2016 the New York Urban League (NYUL) presented Young Men’s Empowerment Day. This year’s theme was Turn up the B.A.S.S.: Be Ambitious, Smart & Strong. There were an impressive 155 students and chaperones participating representing NYC’s five boroughs. The goal of Empowerment Day was to expose students to careers and to professionals who are excited about their jobs and willing to share their paths to success.  Students also learn about internships, future employment opportunities and receive priceless advice from professionals and mentors. NYUL Empowerment Days are sponsored by American Airlines, Time Warner Cable and L’Oreal USA. Opening and closing ceremonies was hosted by Microsoft.


“We are so impressed by the students participating in this event. They begin the day unsure of who they will meet or experience, and afterwards their visions of their futures and possibilities are expanded. We are grateful to all of the participating companies, their volunteers on staff, and the mentors and panelists that came together to reiterate the message that these young people matter,” states Arva R. Rice, President and CEO of the NYUL. Empowerment Days could not happen without the support of our host sites: ConEdison, Google, Hot97/WBLS/WLIB, IPG/McCann NYC, L’Oreal USA, Microsoft, Mount Sinai, NY Daily News, Time Warner Cable and WABC-TV.


The day began with an orientation where students were charged to Turn up the B.A.S.S. :Be Ambitious, Smart & Strong. “Make your passion drive your purpose“, proclaimed Stacie Grant, Motivational Speaker. These bright high school students were from Academy of Finance & Enterprise, Antioch Baptist Church, Berean Baptist Church, BronxWorks, Brotherhood/Sister Sol, Curtis High School, McKee High School, Jeters Leaders, Queens Collegiate High School, New Visions Charter School for the Humanities, New Visions Charter School for the Humanities II, The School for Human Rights, Urban Assembly for Careers in Sports and Validus Preparatory Academy.


Following orientation students were grouped and set out for site visits to the ten participating host companies.  During these visits they learned from experts about career options perhaps never before considered. They also received valuable tips on how to succeed. “No shortcuts. Do the work,” said Brandon Parrot, Analytical Lead, Education, Black Googlers Network. “Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do,” he adds. The professionals shared their educational background and special training needed for their area of interest. Over lunch they answered questions from the students and advised them to follow their passions and to explore their interests through internships, summer programs and community service.


Young Men’s Day concluded at Microsoft with a break out mentoring session and reception. Students were grouped with mentors who are passionate about seeing these young men succeed. The mentors were from various professions including nonprofit/socials services, politics, finance, STEM, education and legal. During the group sessions, students reflected on their day, received strong advice and a student from each group shared positive feedback and encouragement with everyone in the room. “I wanted to show my group how encouragement from peers can be a confidence booster and make things easier for people, henceforth bringing the noise before and after they spoke,” stated group mentor Sean Carswell. Emcee, James Reddick fired them up by expressing the importance of the day and how dynamic it was. In closing, Brian Smith, Senior Vice President, NY Yankees shared tough experiences from growing up on the south side of Mt. Vernon, NY. He spoke with the young men about education, networking and the importance of separation (right/wrong). He generously gave all students a pair of Yankee tickets and challenged them to Turn up the B.A.S.S.; Be Ambitions, Smart & Strong!


Prior to Young Men’s Empowerment Day NYUL hosted Young Women’s Empowerment Day of March 4, 2016.  Following the same format, the concluded at NBC4 – NY with a reception panel including Mara Brock Akil, Writer/Producer; Katrina McGhee, Author/CEO, Loving on Me!;  Demetria Lucas, Author/TV Personality and Ava R. Rice President & CEO, NYUL. These dynamic women shared their stories and gave the young ladies priceless advice. “What do you LOVE to do all of the time? What do you naturally do? Pursue that! Because that’s where your happiness comes from,” said Mara Brock Akil, Writer/Producer of Being Mary Jane during the Young Women’s panel discussion. The young ladies were really encouraged and had an abundance of questions and comments for this dynamic panel.




About New York Urban League

The New York Urban League (NYUL) has a strong commitment to reducing inequality in education and expanding opportunities for our youth. Providing opportunities that help prepare students with experiences and skills needed to succeed is a priority.

The mission of the NYUL is to enable African Americans and other underserved ethnic communities to secure a first-class education, economic self-reliance, and equal respect of their civil rights through programs, services, and advocacy in our highly diversified city.


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