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Date: 2017-03-29

KIPP New Jersey Raises $1.8 Million at 10th Annual “Be the Change” Event in Newark

Event brought together community leaders, families and educators to help celebrate KIPP New Jersey parents, volunteers and students

Newark, NJ (March 30, 2017) – On Wednesday, March 29th, KIPP New Jersey hosted its 10th Annual “Be the Change” Celebration at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The organization’s primary fundraising initiative, this year’s “Be the Change” event was also the first from KIPP New Jersey to feature a panel discussion, one that brought together experts in education and public policy to discuss what efforts can improve college access, persistence and completion, as well as the issues affecting low-income students nationally. In total, the fundraising efforts of the “Be the Change” celebration raised over $1.8 million, all of which will be used to directly support KIPP New Jersey schools in Newark and Camden.

The annual event was established in 2007 to celebrate and honor community leaders and parents that have embodied those words and helped facilitate positive changes in Newark and Camden’s schools and communities. Featuring performances by the KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy Choir as well as the drumlines of KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy and KIPP Whittier Middle, this year’s “Be the Change” honored the service of Mr. and Mrs. Derek Capanna as well as recognized the support of Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and dedication of KIPP New Jersey Parents.

Longtime supporters of KIPP New Jersey, Derek and Deborah Capanna are passionate about education and volunteer with countless community organizations, including KIPP New Jersey. Through the support of Goldman Sachs, and its Urban Investment Group (UIG), KIPP New Jersey has been given access to capital to help finance the construction of new facilities and fund the rehabilitation of existing properties for students in Newark and Camden. Most importantly, without the dedication of its parents, the achievements and results of KIPP New Jersey students would not be possible. Together, they all have helped make a quality education a reality for the children of Newark and Camden, New Jersey.

“This event, and our overall mission here at KIPP New Jersey, is all about making a difference,” said Ryan Hill, KIPP New Jersey Founder and CEO. “Since day one when we opened the doors to our first school here in Newark’s South Ward, it’s been our kids who have been our source of inspiration. Once each year, we come together to celebrate their accomplishments as well as recognize the efforts of our schools’ amazing supporters. It’s incredible to see the diverse range of individuals, families and organizations that stand behind our kids, each of which play an important role in their future. We’re incredibly grateful for their support as each day, we get one step closer our nation knowing Newark and Camden, New Jersey, as cities of world-class public education.”

Gerald Rhymes, a KIPP TEAM Academy founding student and current senior at Bloomfield College, served as the event’s keynote speaker. Rhymes recounted the impact that KIPP New Jersey had on his life and the struggles and challenges he had to overcome growing up in Newark. His story, one of perseverance, hard work and determination, was met with incredible response and applause as he announced his forthcoming graduation from Bloomfield College in May.

The “Be the Change” celebration was preceded by KIPP New Jersey’s first panel discussion, “Closing the Degree Gap,” the subject of which was the difficulties of college access and persistence for students from low-income families. The panel was moderated by Shavar Jeffries, President, Democrats for Education Reform, and featured insights and informed discussion from several experts, including Richard Barth, CEO, KIPP Foundation, Ays Necioglu, Vice President, SEO Scholars, and Dr. Daniel Porterfield, President, Franklin & Marshall College. Panelists addressed the concerns facing today’s students and debated, at length, the efforts that must take place to close the graduation gap that exists between high- and low-income students.

The event was sponsored by Goldman Sachs, the Pike and Susan Sullivan Foundation, Eleanaore and Nick Colucci, Susan and Thomas Dunn, Jennifer and Alan Fournier, Jenny and Rahul Goyal, and Janelle Lin and Andrew Immerman. This year’s KIPP New Jersey “Be the Change” Award honored the following:

Derek and Deborah Capanna

Derek Capanna is a Managing Director and Global Head of Equities Distribution at UBS. Prior to joining UBS in 2015, Derek was Global Head of Equity Sales and Head of Americas Equity Sales at Deutsche Bank, having held sales and management positions for 21 years. Deborah Capanna has served on the Advisory Board of the Pingry School. She continues to volunteer at the Pingry School and a number of community organizations and currently tutors weekly at KIPP THRIVE Academy. Deborah graduated from Virginia Tech and Derek from the University of Virginia. Both are passionate about education and support KIPP NJ and The Pingry School. Derek is also an active alumnus of the University of Virginia. They live in Summit, NJ with their three children, Chase, Will and Emma.

Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group Accepted by: Margaret Anadu, Managing Director

Established in 2001, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group deploys the firm s and client capital by making investment and loans that benefit urban communities. Through its comprehensive community development platform, UIG is a catalyst in the revitalization of underserved neighborhoods throughout the US. UIG has committed over $5.0 billion, facilitating the creation and preservation of nearly 21,000 housing units - the majority of which are affordable to low, moderate and middle-income families - as well as over 2,700,000 square feet of community facility space and over 6,100,000 square feet of commercial, retail, and industrial space.

KIPP New Jersey Parents

KIPP New Jersey has a dedicated parent and family network that spends countless hours working in its schools and community to support its kids. One parent from each of its campuses who embodies the value of being the change, was honored at the celebration. They included:

Ruthven Haneef Auguste, KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy; Cecilia Pullium, KIPP Lanning Square Middle; Shavonne Biggs, KIPP BOLD Academy; Keona Campbell, KIPP THRIVE Academy; Karen Johnson, KIPP SPARK Academy; Kabria Satterwhite, KIPP Whittier Middle; Terrie Lane, KIPP Seek Academy; Tameeka Walden, KIPP Life Academy; Dionne Abdus-Salaam, KIPP TEAM Academy; Qadriyyah Hill, KIPP Rise Academy; Kathia Sanchez, KIPP Lanning Square Primary; Cassandra and Jonathan Zayas; Whittier Elementary at KIPP

About KIPP New Jersey

KIPP New Jersey schools are part of the nationally recognized “Knowledge Is Power Program” non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. In 2002, KIPP New Jersey first opened its doors in Newark’s South Ward as a single class of 80 fifth graders and has since grown to serve over 4,500 students in grades K-12 in Newark and Camden. More than 88% of KIPP New Jersey students currently qualify for free or reduced meals.

In the next few years, KIPP New Jersey will have ten schools in Newark and five in Camden. By offering highly effective educators with strong bonds to families, more time in school learning, services that support a variety of student needs, and a culture focused on achievement, our students are on the path to and through college proving that demographics don’t define destiny. Visit to learn more.

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