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Spring Benefit Raises More than $1 Million

Saturday, May 21, 2016
First graders greet guests at the 2016 Spring Benefit.
First graders greet guests at the 2016 Spring Benefit.

Harlem Academy held its annual Spring Benefit on April 28, 2016, raising more than $1 million towards scholarship support. This was the most successful event in the school’s history.

The evening featured guest of honor, Clifford Alexander, a prominent civil rights adviser, who served as Secretary of the Army under President Carter and Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under President Johnson. While introducing him, Head of School Vinny Dotoli noted Secretary Alexander’s visit to work with our students. He pointed to the powerful connection they had with him as a primary source for the historical eras they have studied, showing their deep understanding of the subject and their eagerness to engage.

In his speech, Mr. Alexander stressed the importance of education and shared his award with his middle school English teacher who inspired him to achieve his goals.  

Alumnus Tim Mentor ’12 also spoke at the event. One of Harlem Academy’s first graduates, he has thrived at Riverdale Country Day School and will be attending Salve Regina University in Rhode Island in the fall. In his speech, he focused on the transformational impact of the school, highlighting the teachers who influenced and shaped him.

“Harlem Academy teachers removed the idea of the maximum,” he said. “They taught me that I could always strive for more – not because what I had accomplished wasn’t good enough, but because it wasn’t all I could do.”

The event included the premiere of a short video showcasing alumni experiences after Harlem Academy. The film follows three Harlem Academy graduates at their secondary schools, showing how Harlem Academy prepared them for the experience.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the evening such a success. Only with your support can we continue to transform lives.