Urban Tech is investing in tomorrow’s youth.
The air was warm and the skies were clear as guests made their way up the stairs of Guastavino’s for Urban Tech’s 22nd Annual Gala. The event space which sits on 59th street near the East River was filled to capacity with guests eager to support the non-profit, that provides access to technology and training for youth of inner-city communities.
The event kicked off with a reception and silent auction. Guests were given the opportunity to bid on an array of treasures from a $100,000 diamond encrusted ring donated by Oprah Winfrey and a #30 signed jersey donated by Steph Curry.
The gala honored Hannah Bronfman with the Youth Empowerment Award. The DJ and fashionista has been recognized by The New York Times, People Magazine and Vogue Runway for her commitment to promoting health and wellness, and as a brand ambassador for brands such as Adidas and American Express.
As the accomplished millennial entrepreneur grabbed the microphone, she expressed how nervous she was to speak in front of a such large crowd, but how humbled she was to receive the award.
“I am so honored to be here today among such amazing talent and for such a worthwhile cause,” said Bronfman. “Especially to me, as I consider myself someone who relies heavily on technology to get my message out there to my audience.”
Bronfman goes on to give advice to others inspired by her work.
“My message to you is this, for every hater out there, there are 10 people in your corner, who want to see you shine,” says Bronfman. “Use your voice, express yourself, and build others up.”
Urban Tech has been a staple in providing technology education to children and young adults for over two decades. What makes its program unique is its “social emotional ability” component, the technique allows students to recognize their own value in society, despite their social background.
As the evening came to a close, the last, but certainly not least award was given to Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.
The Humanitarian Award recipient, was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. The entire room stood and applauded as Jarrett took the stage. She is known for working to strengthen access to the middle class and boost equality and opportunity for Americans.
As the esteemed advisor stood at the podium she waited for the applauses to end and the crowd to settle. She adjusted the microphone before addressing the crowed. “Thank you all,” said Jarrett. “I am so proud to be here tonight,” as she continued with her acceptance speech.