NLU’s annual gala Reach Awards fundraiser was featured on ABC7 News Tuesday, minutes after the event itself took place.
Karen Jordan, an ABC7 News anchor, emceed the event, introducing NLU President Nivine Megahed, as well as other dignitaries.
NLU presented its Pioneer Award to former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Reach awards to three alumni.
Duncan is familiar to Chicagoans because he served as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from 2001 to 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as education secretary. He served for about six years in the post, and stepped down in December to join a non-profit which focuses on jobs for urban youth.
Matthew King, M.Ed., a change leader in education, won the National College of Education’s Reach award. He has served as executive director and principal at EPIC Academy College Prep Charter High School since 2009.
Jacqueline Samuel, Ph.D., a community psychologist and champion of affordable housing, human services and safe conditions for the South Chicago neighborhood, won the College of Professional Studies and Advancement’s Reach award. She directs the Chicago Public Schools’ Safe Passage program.
Amanda Leftwich is a graduate of NLU’s P.A.C.E. program, geared to students with learning disabilities. She credits P.A.C.E. with teaching her life skills so that she can take public transportation, live in her own apartment and work full-time at an early childhood center/daycare at Rush University Medical Center.