On Friday, September 16, representatives from WNET, Friends of THIRTEEN, PBS, American Graduate Day partner organizations, and the American Graduate Day team rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square in celebration of the fifth annual American Graduate Day which took place on September 17.
In honor of the occasion, WNET President & CEO Neal Shapiro emphasized the impact that American Graduate Day, with this year’s focus on mentorship, can have on communities, before ringing the bell.
Among the special guests on hand were: Jonathan Barzilay, PBS Chief Operating Officer; Carole Wacey, Vice President of Education; Dorothy Pacella, Friends of THIRTEEN; Katherine Connors, Vice Chair & Education Chair, Board of Directors; Harry Forbes, Director, Public Relations; Donna Williams, Senior Publicist; Robin Rodriguez, Director, Station Relations; Melissa Major, Digital Media Producer; representatives from American Graduate Day partner organizations David Asbury, Best Buddies; Cordel Blair, P-Tech, Teacher; Cindy Cassius, P-Tech, Teacher; Rashid Davis, P-Tech, Principal Jamie Ergas, Eye to Eye, Office Manager; Hal Fischer, i2i, Media Director; Gabe Friedman, Eye to Eye, National Program Director; Jerome Grant, Friends of the Children New York, Executive Director; Mariel Hankoff, Eye to Eye, Mentoring Program Manager; Brenda Jimenez, Mentor NY, Director of Operation and Strategy Growth; Tom Klingman, Best Buddies; Joshua Kaye, Best Buddies, Director; Manny Mattei, Best Buddies; Marcus Soutra, Eye to Eye, President; Erin Spiewak, Monarch School, Director of Strategic Partnerships; Cynthia Valenzuela, Monarch School; Kayle Walls, Eye to Eye, Director of Operations and HR and members of the American Graduate Day team Amanda Granger, Project Manager; Hakeem Oluseyi, Co-host (Science Channel); Sheba Turk, Co-host (WWL-TV); RoseLynn Marra, Station Relations Consultant; Jenna Wolleman, Public Affairs, Edelman and Sabrina Paez, Multicultural Outreach, Edelman.
American Graduate Day took place from 2-6pm EST on September 17, 2016 and concluded SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION, a special week of primetime news, public affairs and documentary programming on PBS stations that focused on the brightest ideas and toughest challenges facing today’s students and America’s education system. Broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center, the annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations. With four hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances, American Graduate Day 2016 celebrated the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are American Graduate Champions: those helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes.