The 5th Annual Young Leaders Now Awards Dinner: A Recap

“There’s a power that comes when we enable young people to discover their sense of purpose.”  

-Reeta Roy, Resolution’s 2018 Young Leaders Now honoree.

On Tuesday, May 29, the Resolution Project hosted its 5th Annual Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine Young Leaders Now Award Dinner at the Harvard Club of New York City, recognizing inspiring young leaders who began successfully changing the world while still in school.

The event featured a sit-down dinner with a short award program and a cocktail hour featuring a live jazz band. This year’s honorees were Karim Abouelnaga, Founder & CEO of Practice Makes Perfect, and Reeta Roy, President & CEO of Mastercard Foundation.

Resolution was lucky enough to have 18 Fellows—at least one from each class—in attendance, including two who have been with us from the very beginning, Alex Merkovic-Orenstein (Class 1) and Nick Fiore (Class 1).

Resolution Fellows in attendance at Young Leaders Now.

The event was a big success and couldn’t have come at a better time, as Resolution celebrates its 10-year anniversary and updated stats announcing that Resolution Fellows have collectively impacted over 1.5 million beneficiaries. We’ve collected a few highlights from the evening delivered by Karim Abouelnaga and by Ashley Collier on behalf of Reeta Roy for those of you who couldn’t make it (or those of you who would like to re-live the evening), and we hope to see you all at our next event: the NY Social on June 20!

Excerpts from Reeta Roy’s remarks:

“Let me say a word to Resolution Fellows: You are on a powerful journey. You may know the destination, but you may not see the path to get you there. Rarely, it will be a straight line. More likely, it will be a winding road. Enjoy the journey. Be grateful for the road bumps.”

“We need your idealism as much as we need your tenacity to stick with your dreams.”

“We’re here tonight because we are betting on you to make tomorrow better than today.”

Ashley Collier accepts the Champion’s Circle award from Resolution Fellow and Mastercard Foundation Scholar Sylvia Mwangi, on behalf of Reeta Roy.

Excerpts from Karim Abouelnaga’s remarks:

“Like most college students, I came up with a crazy idea… and I thought that education could be cool, and what we needed to do was change the narrative, change the script, and change the way kids thought about it.”

“As we get older, our creativity starts to wane, because we’ve been hit by the reality of what the world is. But we’ll never be able to run faster if we can’t imagine ourselves like cheetahs. We’ll never be able to swim more effectively through the water if we can’t imagine ourselves like mermaids.”

“For my fellow Resolution peers, I have a set of questions that I asked myself: Why is this important, not just to me but to society? Why is this important to me? And Why am I uniquely qualified to do this work? And then I asked myself those same three questions with a sense of urgency. And those questions drove me and gave me the conviction to be able to turn down those (job) offers, and say no to what was there, and say yes to what I believe is my purpose.”

Karim Abouelnaga accepts the Young Leaders Now Award from Resolution Fellow Alex Merkovic-Orenstein 

A big thank-you again to those of you who came out to support our Fellows and honorees, and who continue to support Resolution as we work to empower the next generations of socially responsible young changemakers!