June 4, 2015 – About 150 family, friends, neighbors and community supporters celebrated with the 2015 Rising Stars ‘All Stars’ at the second-annual Rising Stars Youth Leadership Gala, hosted by BOSS, at the Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley. Event attendance increased over last year – even going head-to-head with the opening game of the NBA finals! (Go Warriors!)
Twenty youth were honored in five categories: New Direction, Role Model, Caring for Family, Community Involvement, and Consistency. The youth were nominated by BOSS, Berkeley High School, Berkeley Technology Academy, and Berkeley Youth Alternatives. Four youth received educational scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. Those youth are: Lia Lacy, 19, of BYA; Malika Anderson, 15, of BOSS; Delvonnia Cooper, 18, of Berkeley High School; and Perrish Ingram, 18, of Berkeley Technology Academy.
After welcoming remarks by BOSS Board President Dan Scarola, the program began with a powerful invocation, led by the Rev. Sandhya Jha of the Oakland Peace Center, and a warm welcome by Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. BOSS Executive Director Donald Frazier served as the evening’s emcee. Entertainment was provided by both the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and singer Lae Hayes, who brought the audience to tears with her rendition of “Hero” by Mariah Carey.
Former BUSD Teacher Nancy Johnson, currently the preschool Teacher in BOSS’s Children’s Learning Center (which she helped to found twenty years ago), presented a posthumous award to Alba Witkin, accepted by her granddaughter Julia Kuchman. Alba’s foundation, the Bernard E. and Alba Witkin Foundation, have been loyal supporters of the Children’s Learning Center, owing to Alba’s deep-held belief that all children need and deserve a high quality education.
Keynote speaker Adante D. Pointer, a civil rights attorney of the Law Offices of John L. Burris, spoke of his own personal struggles and self determination to rise above. He congratulated the Rising Stars, and told them that if they can get through their own life struggles – which include homelessness, foster care, and family crises – then they can get through anything in life. He urged them to continue to work hard and aim high toward their goals.
Kassy Covarrubias, a 2014 Rising Stars awardee, also addressed the crowd and congratulated the 2015 Rising Stars. Over the past school year, Kassy interned with BOSS on the Rising Stars Planning Committee, as the Youth Leadership Coordinator. This Fall, she will start her studies at Chico State University!
Presentation to each youth were made by the gracious and wonderful Sbeydeh Viveros, Senior Aide to Mayor Tom Bates. Each youth received a plaque, donated by Berkeley Stamp & Engraving Co.; goodie bags with donated gifts; and certificates from Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, and U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
A delicious buffet dinner was provided by the BOSS Food Services Team along with multiple community donors—Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Café Rouge, Whole Foods – Gilman Street Berkeley, and various scrumptious desserts (including star-shaped Rice Krispie treats and cakes with the event logo painted in frosting!) by volunteer bakers recruited by Cake4Kids.
At the end of the evening, a special video played (created by Malaga Smith of Malaga Corp. and BOSS Development Associate Gwen Austin) which honored the Rising Stars, featuring quotes by BOSS Board President Dan Scarola, Executive Director Donald Frazier, Rising Stars youth, and a special message of encouragement from Jonathan DeYoe of (event sponsor) DeYoe Wealth Management.
Throughout the night, guests also bid on a variety of silent auction items that were donated by more than two dozen community partners, with all proceeds going to BOSS programs. A big huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated items to the silent auction, and for the 20 youth gift bags!
BOSS also wishes to thank all those who supported the event, attended, donated, purchased a ticket, or took part in the program in any way. It was truly a labor of love by dozens of people both within BOSS and in the community at large.
Please check back for more pictures, once we upload them onto the BOSS Flickr site!
You can still make a difference for Berkeley youth in need!
If you were unable to attend or wish to continue supporting Rising Stars throughout the year, please donate to our Crowdrise site. Donations as small as $10 go a long way.
Look for the 3rd Annual Rising Stars awardees next year – and stay tuned as they reach for their dreams!
To sponsor the 2016 Rising Stars gala, please contact Sonja at (510) 649-1930 x 1008 or email@example.com.
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2015 Rising Stars Sponsors & Donors
Berkeley High Development Group
UC Berkeley Local Gov’t & Community Relations
Berkeley Lions Cub
Berkeley Society of Friends
East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO)
John George Democratic Club
The Companion Group
Youth Gift Bag Donors
Black Repertory Theater
City of Berkeley
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond
Food & Meal Service Donors
Excellent Packaging & Supply
Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Whole Foods Markets
Silent Auction Donors
Albany Berkeley Soccer Club
A Priori Designs
Aquarium of the Bay
Art Editions Limited
Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Black Repertory Theater
California Academy of Arts and Sciences
Charity Fundraising Packages
Children’s Discovery Museum
Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Lawrence Hall of Science
Metropolitan Golf Links
Pavé Fine Jewelry Design
Shotgun Players Theater