Thursday, June 19, 2014

Inspired by @RohanMurphy and @DanielTrust. Motivating Scholars By Recognizing Actions @FairfieldU

Last night I had the honor and privilege of attending the Daniel Trust Foundation, Inc. Student and Teacher Awards Dinner in Bridgeport, Connecticut. One of my students, Anmol Tabassum, was recognized with an award and joined Diamond Allen, Micheline Amisi, Henryiana Maxelix, Jocelyn Mendez, Natalie Ortiz, Keyana Vega, and Eric Zhevel as an honoree. Anmol was in the dual enrollment program between Bassick High School and Fairfield University during her senior year and I was thrilled to nominate her for the recognition. She is a student of Kathy Silver, as well, and is very well connected at a young age.

Daniel Trust is a visionary and in one year, his dream of honoring three students who make a difference in their community not only happened, but was raised by 5 more awards. A humble man (who loves the 'selfie' more than anyone I've ever met), Daniel 'trust'-ed his recipients and let them have the spotlight. This included chemistry teacher, Dr. John Casper, of Bassick High School who came to urban school teaching after a career with students at Brooklyn Polytech Institute and the University of Maryland, and work as a chemist at Shell Development. He is a stellar example of those who are dedicated to excellence for all public school youth - he counters all the rhetoric and mythology often placed on those in the profession.

The biggest star of the evening, however, was keynote, Rohan Murphy, who inspired all of us with his story of overcoming obstacles and making his dreams come true. He proved to the audience that in order to get to the prize ahead, one must run, walk, or even crawl there way there. Losing his legs at birth, Murphy spent formative years making his athletic ambitions come true. He wrestled on his high school team and at Penn State University (his new goal is to publicly speak in every state in the nation).

It is the end of the school and I'm revving up for summer programs. I wake up today, however, motivated and rejuvenated to do more for the world. It was an amazing evening with wonderful people. I can't imagine spending a Tuesday evening any better. For all involved, thank you!

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