HARLEM - Finding Your Gift: Harlem Academy Welcomes Grammy Winner Patti Austin, Investor and Educator William Mayer and "American Idol" Music Director Ray Chew to Address Students and Bezos Scholars on How to Find Your Gift
On Monday, January 24 at 5:00 pm EST, genConnect.com, the site that connects experts to web audiences, will video shoot a special event that brings together those who have achieved greatness in their fields with future achievers from Harlem Academy. The focus of the event will be a conversation titled "Finding Your Gift" - achieving self-awareness of your unique abilities and how to harness them in a world that's as competitive as ever.
The panelists will also discuss the importance of giving back to local communities.
Headlining the event is Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Austin. In addition to being the National Spokesperson for the Foundation for Social Change and a native of Harlem, Austin recently co-founded the "Over My Shoulder Foundation," a non-profit mentoring organization established on the principle that the arts, entertainment and media can positively impact millions of disenfranchised individuals. Ms. Austin recently released her seventeenth album, "Sound Advice," on the Shanachie label.
Joining Ms. Austin is William Mayer, a past Dean of Maryland's Robert H.Smith School of Business, Chairman of the Aspen Institute for eight years, founding partner of the United Football League, and a frequent speaker on mentorship and "Finding Your Gift," a talk he gives frequently to youth groups. Mayer made news this past November when he finished the New York City Marathon, running with his son to raise money for Harlem Academy. Mayer finished 5th in his age group, but more importantly raised in excess of $80,000 for the school.
Rounding out the presentation will be Harlem native and music legend Ray Chew who has just started his first season as Music Director on the hugely popular Fox Television program "American Idol." Ray Chew has been at the helm of award-winning musical events - live and televised - performing with countless legendary artists such as Barry Manilow, Sting, James Taylor, the 4-Tops, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Smokey Robinson, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Kirk Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin and Quincy Jones. In his new role he will helm all musical content for the program that invented the concept of mentoring up and coming musicians to prepare them for careers in the music industry.
An audience consisting of students from Harlem Academy and a number of select Bezos Scholars, a group of students and teachers selected by the Bezos Family Foundation, will be in attendance. genConnect.com is video shooting the event to make the production available to students and thought leaders across the globe.
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Harlem Academy is an independent school that offers merit-based, needs-blind admissions. Working in partnership with families, the school prepares each student to enter and thrive at a top secondary school, while setting a course for life-long learning and contribution to our world. Founded in 2004, Harlem Academy serves 102 students in grades one through seven. The school has added a grade for seven consecutive years and will graduate an inaugural grade-eight class in 2012.