Nearly 500 people gathered at New York City’s Cipriani 42nd Street in March to celebrate NCLD’s 40th anniversary. That’s 40 years of progress in improving the lives of the 1 in 5 people with learning and attention issues in the U.S.
The guest list illustrated the diversity of people who we serve: parents, educators, employers, and others with a personal connection to learning and attention issues.
We honored designer Dao-Yi Chow, co-founder of the fashion line Public School, and Bob Miller, Chairman and CEO of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S.
Introduced by his friend, Alex Soros, Dao-Yi Chow told the audience, “Our children’s issues are our issues, and so we must do whatever we can to create a society that best prepares and empowers our children and young adults to be independent and prepared for a successful life in school, work and beyond.” Bob Miller, as an employer of over 276,000 people, echoed that sentiment, in saying, “The work that [NCLD does] not only improves lives today, but builds a solid foundation for success for many years to come.”
During the event, attendees also heard from Ampy Moreno and her son Donovan. Moreno’s dyslexia and attention issues were not identified until she was almost finished with high school. Now, poised to open her own salon, Moreno has been a strong advocate for her son. “I know that my son’s journey will be easier than mine,” said Moreno. “Because of Understood and NCLD, parents like me don’t have to be scared, and confused, and ashamed.”
Our event also honored two extraordinary high school seniors who won the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas scholarships. Marcos Allen and Charlotte Leche have both worked hard to overcome the challenges of their learning and attention issues and are looking forward to continuing their education. As each one shared an arduous, inspiring journey, the pride and acknowledgement throughout the audience was profound.
“At NCLD, we are working to create a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life,” said Mimi Corcoran, President and CEO of NCLD. “We know that when they succeed…we all succeed.”
Looking to the year ahead, NCLD will be working on an exciting new initiative to connect educators with much needed instructional resources and training opportunities to ensure success for all learners, modeled on the successful Understood.org platform.
We will also continue our advocacy work to ensure that individuals with learning and attention issues are represented in national and state discussions about education. NCLD’s Washington D.C. office is working with Congressional offices, government agencies, networks and coalitions to influence decision-makers and shape policies that advance opportunities for students with disabilities.
“All of you here tonight hold the keys to NCLD achieving its ambitious goals. It is your willingness to stand for the 1 in 5; to reach out to others; to stay involved, to make a difference, that will enable NCLD to lead the way,” Corcoran told the audience. “Together, we can make the world fully accessible and inclusive of the 1 in 5 – one where they thrive.” The attendees and sponsors contributed a record $3 million to support our critical work in the years ahead.
To see more photos from this special night, check out our Facebook page.