A star-studded event hosted by Usher recognized three outstanding individuals and one foundation for helping support the singer’s Atlanta-based nonprofit that emphasizes education as the first step to success for tomorrow’s leaders.
The Usher’s New Look President’s Circle Awards luncheon was held Wednesday at the St. Regis in Buckhead and hosted by Q100 radio personality Jeff Dauler. Attendees included Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal and State School Superintendent John Barge, who was given a special shout-out by New Look President Shawn Wilson in regards to the development of a New Look Career Pathway for high school students throughout the state.
“Together with the Georgia Department of Education and State Superintendent John Barge, we will be able to introduce a brand new Career Pathway for the entire state of Georgia,” Wilson said. “This is going to allow [students] to achieve four full high school credits upon completion of our curriculum.”
Wilson said the new curriculum would open doors to internships and shadowing of industry professionals in a wide array of industries including GE, Ford, Cartoon Network and Georgia Power.
Usher said he had a conversation with Barge earlier that struck a chord with him when Barge pointed out that many students drop out and fail to earn their diploma because they feel like what they are learning in school is not significant to their lives and plans for their future.
“[I’m looking forward] to be able to forge this relationship and put the curriculum in the hands of the teachers and hopefully the students, who will be able to teach these kids that there is something specific for you that will allow [teachers] to not only help your future in education but also to have a career,” Usher said.
During the ceremony, awards were presented as follows: the Service Legacy Award went to the Coca-Cola Foundation, with Chairwoman Lisa Borders accepting on behalf or the organization; the Youth Catalyst Award was given to Collective Soul front man and Atlanta resident Ed Roland; the Global Youth Leadership Award was presented to Nadji Jeter, a New Look Ambassador and actor appearing in the film “Grown Ups 2;” and the Servant Leadership Award went to Julie Miller, managing director of Accenture and the driving force behind New Look’s iLEAD online educational platform.
Usher said all of the honorees represented New Look’s commitment to affecting change through hard work and dedication to service.
“Bringing about change is like a village raising a child,” Usher said. “This is our village. And if we continue to keep coming together, we’re going to be able to raise some amazing future leaders.”