Newton Schools Foundation’s Newton Inspires Committee was itself inspired to do something special for NI’s 10th anniversary year.
Perhaps during a uniquely difficult time, Newton Inspires could lift up the community with a 9-part webinar series.
Newton Inspires was founded to engage our community in the work of the Foundation and celebrate lifelong learning by sharing the talents, ideas and reflections of some of our City’s most accomplished residents and NPS alums.
It has never been a typical “fundraiser” and this year, as we took it virtual, our beloved event lived up to its name…and then some.
The November kick-off was a fascinating conversation about “The Last Dance,” Jason Hehir’s Emmy award-winning ESPN documentary about Michael Jordan. Jason, an NPS graduate (Horace Mann-Day-North), was interviewed by Newton resident and 7NEWS Sports Director Joe Amorosino, and the two were delighted to connect!
Just in time for the holidays, we “zoomed” into the kitchen of NPS parent and PBS food producer Denise Drower Swidey. Denise (did we mention?)–an award-winning chef, food writer, and food stylist–hosted an unforgettable cooking lesson in December with well over 100 attendees.
January brought Newton’s “Broadway Babies,” NPS alums Zachary Baer, Skylar Fox, Tess Primack, and Ryan Vona. They reflected on their careers, reminisced about NPS, and shared life advice with current NPS students. They were joined by NNHS Theatre Ink Director, Adam Brown.
One chilly night in February, Sonja Spears (Chair, Newton’s Police Reform Task Force) enlightened viewers with her profound talk, “Finding Hope Through Justice”, eliciting an especially thoughtful discussion during Q&A.
Our March speaker, NPS grad Sam Vaghar, captivated viewers of all ages as he described his journey launching and growing The Millenium Campus Network and The Millenium Fellowship. As we rolled into April, Newton Inspires’ returning “star speaker,”, Dr. Giovanni Fazio, stoked our interest in billions of sparkly wonders of the universe.
Latino Equity Fund Founder Aixa Beauchamp led a conversation with Bank of America’s Miceal Chamberlain and Boston Foundation’s Orlando Watkins in May. The three focused on progress (and at times lack thereof) regarding racial and economic equality within the commercial and nonprofit sectors.
June’s warm weather coincided with Newton Inspires’ final program: an impactful discussion led by Newton-Needham Chamber’s Greg Reibman, who was introduced by NPS Grad Emily Chan of @bostonfoodgram.
Greg and Newton restaurant industry leaders Joelle Tomb (SUSHICO), Arpit Patel (Baramor), Seana Gaherin (Dunn-Gaherins), and Nancy Cushman (Bianca) described Newton’s dining-out landscape at the height of Covid-19 and during the recovery phase.
In the end, Newton Inspires engaged over 1,100 attendees and over $55,000 was raised through your generous sponsorships and donations. Thank you!
Stay tuned for news about Newton Inspires programming in the 2021-22 school year.