URBAN YOUTH 15th Annual “Build A Dream” Awards Banquet
Recognizes Students, Parents, Mentors & Sponsors
The acclaimed Philadelphia-based URBAN YOUTH non-profit experiential learning program is hosted its 15TH Annual URBAN YOUTH “Build A Dream” Awards Banquet yesterday evening, April 23rd at the National Constitution Center.
Nearly 300 students, parents, educators, civic leaders, as well as corporate, foundation and government sponsors attended the dinner and awards ceremony. Featured speakers and awards recipients were on stage with the backdrop of a stadium-sized jumbotron presentation of the motor sports, marine engine, aerospace and remote piloted vehicles programs of the URBAN YOUTH program.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the URBAN YOUTH its founder Anthony Martin and Board Chairman Jim Farmer both expressed their pride in the commitment of the students, parents, instructors, community and corporate supporters, which has allowed the program to become so successful.
Among the most passionate speeches came from Vice-Admiral Kevin McCoy who has championed URBAN YOUTH for Office of Naval Operations funding for several years, and the architect of the new Navy STEM Academy partnership. Soon to retire Vice-Admiral McCoy, himself an engineer, cited his work with URBAN YOUTH as the most rewarding of his naval career.
American LeMans Series Corvette Racing star Tommy Milner began the evening with an autograph signing and the program included a video of him taking the 180 mph lead from a Ferrari on a wet LeMans track!
Ken Barrett, General Motors Chief Diversity Officer also attended and emphasized the importance of URBAN YOUTH. “Fostering the growth of next-generation leaders in STEM-related fields is an important focus area for GM. We are committed to programs that are improving education and changing the lives of children,” said Barrett. “We’ve had an outstanding partnership with Urban Youth for the last 13 years and their amazing impact on children in the greater Philadelphia area continues to inspire us.”
For 15 years the URBAN YOUTH experiential learning and career development programs have focused on providing FREE technical skills development and Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) training for urban youth ages 8 to 18. Unlike a charter school, UY is an extra-curricular merit-based initiative tht attracts the best and brightest students who are looking for a rewarding career path.
The success of URBAN YOUTH is legendary, helping to motivate and propel thousands of students through high school and college graduation and on to meaningful careers. As the pioneering diversity program in the high stakes professional motor sports industry, the URBAN YOUTH Racing School (UYRS) is internationally acclaimed and supported by major corporations and private donors and foundations.
In the last several years, URBAN YOUTH has broadened the scope of the organization, responding to dual White House mandates of developing meaningful mentoring programs in the urban Black and Hispanic communities and promoting STEM education programs to pipeline students into the emerging career opportunities.
The organization continues to pursue initiatives like the model URBAN YOUTH WHAT IT TAKES (WIT) mentoring program and the recently announced Urban STEM Academy (USA) joint-venture CENTER of EXCELLENCE with the US Navy NAVSEA Systems Command, both cited as 501(c)(3) models ideal for national expansion.
Awards Program, Honorees & Featured Speakers
The honors presented this year included: Perfect Attendance Award, Perseverance Award, Little Racers Award, Teen RACERS Awards, Parent Awards, Naval Engine Design Awards, Chevy Points Championship Trophy, Trailblazer Award and Sponsor of the Year.
Featured speakers and honorees included: