Countless individuals have shown their belief in the mission of Project Ubuntu and have literally given it the wheels to visit every state in the USA. I am full of gratitude to everyone who has given in any way to this project and I hope our team makes you proud.
Project Ubuntu Heroes
Shakela and I worked together for a year and a half at City Year London, and anyone who has met her knows what an enormous gift she is to the world. Shakela possesses an unbelievable ability to unite and inspire others, and cares deeply for everyone she interacts with. Her leadership style is gentle, caring and honest, yet it is powerful and energetic, and I aspire to emulate Shakela’s loving presence. In addition to leading teams of full-time volunteer tutors and mentors in two London primary schools in 2011-12, she headed a committee of City Year London corps members that staged the memorable Showcase Ubuntu event in April 2012. This event, months in the making, celebrated the talent and beautiful multiculturalism of London’s youth as well as injecting life into both Project Ubuntu and City Year’s work in London schools.
Charlie is as legendary as it gets in the City Year community, and the name that launched a thousand ships for Project Ubuntu. A youth worker, organizer and entrepreneur in Boston for nearly 30 years, he has helped build City Year from the ground up to 25 cities on three continents. Charlie is famous for his outrageous charisma, youthful energy, and inexplicable ability to remember the name of every single person he meets. His endorsement of Project Ubuntu not only gave our team confidence, it channeled a huge portion of the resources we needed to get off the ground. I am just one of countless beneficiaries of Charlie’s encouragement, and he is truly a Hero in every sense of the word.
My family has gone above and beyond providing the support I hoped for, and it’s no exaggeration to say the project would not be launching on time were it not for their extraordinary contributions. Pictured (clockwise) beside me are sister Lauren, dad John, brother-in-law Niles, sister Amie, nephew Jordan and mom Nancy. The amount of effort they’ve contributed around their busy lives shows you can always make time for those whom you care about. The project owes utmost praise and admiration to Amie who has built, updated and maintained the website, provided input on every nuanced issue, liaised with important links and generally been my rock, despite working full-time and caring for an infant son! And people wonder how I have so much energy…
Huge thanks goes out to the 177 people who helped us raise more than $10,000 on Kickstarter, many others who gave offline, Jane Salemson of Musica Musicians for organizing a benefit concert and supporting the project’s development, AnnMaura Connolly for endorsing the project on behalf of City Year and Voices for National Service, Kiff Gallagher of the Center for Music National Service and Katie Wyatt of KidZNotes for their commitment to music service and being among the first to agree to partner with the project, Mark Wagner and the Worcester State University Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement for promoting service learning and for enrolling me to activate my AmeriCorps service award, Michelle Hamman of MotherTongues for donating Ubuntu shirts to the team, and the staff at City Year London for believing in the project, helping it grow and giving me so many opportunities to cultivate the skills I need to effect change in society.
Special thanks for especially generous contributions from Michael Aitken, Richard and Debra Bame, Andrew Behrns, Gayle Bomar, Susan Bickford and Greg McAvoy, Larry Bumgardner, Erin Brennock, Carrie Clements, Lisa Copeland, Rasha Dalbah, Wayne Dankner, Itai Dinour, Noel Fritzky, Michelle Hamman, Christine Hodgson, Matt King, Melissa Kobelinski, Sophie Livingstone, Harry Mamlin III, Grant March, David McGowan and Emily Laborde, Marisa Nadas and Lis Baron, Claire Newman, Jesse Pearlstein, Jarrett Reid, Lauren Ritter, Charlie Rose, Aaron Salmon, Graham Saunders, Aniela Shuckburgh, Mike Southgate, Sigmund Tannenbaum, Susan Tannenbaum, Michiko Takyu, Jonathan Tolentino, Tim Warmath, Katie Wilson, and Maura Zubieta-Manka.