BOSTON GLOW TO “IGNITE THE NITE” AT THE EPICENTER AT ARTISTS FOR HUMANITY FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Local Non-Profit Raises Scholarship Funds for Underprivileged Girls;
City Councilor Ayanna Pressley to Announce Community Service Partnership with GLOW at Event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston, MA. – January 26, 2013 – On February 28, 2013, local grassroots non-profit Boston GLOW (Girls’ Leadership, Organized Women), will host their third annual IGNITE the NITE gala in the hope of raising $35,000 in scholarship funds for young female students in Boston’s most underfunded schools in its most at-risk communities.
The evening affair, now in its third year, will again be held at the world-class Artists for Humanity EpiCenter in Fort Point, and boasts small plates from Boston’s premiere restaurants and caterers including Season to Taste and Rita’s, signature cocktails featuring Tito’s Vodka and Triple Eight, keynote address from City Councilor Ayanna Pressley as well as two previous IGNITE Change Leadership Contest winners. Throughout the evening guests can bid on a broad silent auction of items packages from sports and event tickets, resort and hotel stays to one-of-a-kind artwork and services. The space will be decked out with unique event décor from New England Country Rentals, PBD Events and floral design from Cedar Grove Gardens. Boston-based band City of Squares and DJour Entertainment on turntables will perform throughout the night.
In just their first two years, with no staff or operating budget, Boston GLOW raised over $30,000 in scholarship funds and comprehensively engaged 17 young women in their “GL” program with financial scholarships, laptop prizes and a personal mentoring program designed to engage, encourage and demonstrate female leadership. Of the 17 young women, 9 are enrolled at college, 3 have earned their GED’s after dropping out of high school, 2 have overcome complications of homelessness, 10 obtained internships in the Boston community, 3 have pursued additional opportunities to have their writing published, and 1 remains an active blogger for the organization.
"I was first introduced to the incredible women and work of GLOW one year ago," said Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. "I attended their annual IGNITE the Night Gala, and am thrilled to join them again this year, and excited to officially announce my community service collaboration with GLOW".
The organization was the brainchild of Leah Moschella, inspired by teaching young women in Namibia, her Masters in Education studies at Northeastern and her work with a youth leadership council in Dorchester. “I was dumbfounded to discover that women in Namibia with no drinking water, battered women hiding in shelters in the Bronx and women right here at home in Boston shared a common belief that their voice didn’t matter and their dreams for leadership and education were out of reach.” Moschella set out to design a two-year curriculum that would nurture young female leaders through the development and facilitation of their educational goals, which became Boston GLOW.
Moschella brought the organization to life in 2010 with former high school classmates Emily Copeman (now Executive Director, Marketing & Development), A.C. Gaughen (now Executive Director, Girls’ Leadership) and Jenna Paone (now Executive Director, Organized Women).
“What makes Boston GLOW so unique is that we are 100% volunteer-run and have achieved a massive impact already – in just two years,” explains Moschella. “IGNITE the NITE is crucial the success of our program as a young grassroots organization. We have no physical space, no staff, no budget. All proceeds are used to generate scholarships and support for high school girls in the Boston community with dreams of furthering their education and becoming empowered world citizens.”
In its third year, the IGNITE Change Leadership Contest asks contestants in Roxbury, Dorchester, Somerville and South Boston, “What would you change about the role of women in your community, city, or school?” With a focus on young girls interested in writing, entries will be judged by a diverse panel of professional females in Boston, who will choose seven finalists.
“This year, in addition to our year-round curriculum and scholarship prizes, a Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 to put her plan into action,” explained Gaughen. “We are so eager to see their journey unfold – the ideas they have already put forth in their essays are just incredible. There is no end to the potential that lies within these young women – we are hopeful that the experience of changing their community as a young woman, with the support of our mentors and Organized Women network, will change their lives.”
The contest closed on January 25 and finalists will be announced on March 1. Winners will be feted at an Awards Dinner with their friends and family in April, marking the start of their journey with Boston GLOW. “This is such an exciting time of year for us,” said Copeman. “For the last two months we have been hard at work planning our annual fundraiser while these essays pile in with such beautiful and brave ideas for the future – it inspires us to keep working hard in the background, knowing these are the young women whose lives will be influenced by every dollar we raise on February 28.”
“Everyone can make a difference,” said Moschella. “The acts of individual people add up to a greater power – so every little bit really does count. Through donations of time, effort, funding, and goods, together with our sponsors we are dedicated to meeting our fundraising goal and furthering opportunities for girls and women in our communities.”
Tickets for IGNITE the NITE, priced at $75, $125 and $250, with discounted rates for teachers and employees of nonprofits, can be purchased at http://www.bostonglow.org/ignite_the_nite_2013_calendar2
About Boston GLOW
Boston GLOW is a local nonprofit founded in 2010 by Dorchester resident Leah Moschella, Boston GLOW fosters opportunities for women of all ages to become empowered community leaders and active world citizens. Through two specific program areas--Girls’ Leadership (GL) and Organized Women (OW)--GLOW strives to provide pragmatic programming, leadership training, and service-learning opportunities.
About Ayanna Pressley
Ayanna Pressley was elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009. Pressley, the only woman in a field of 15 candidates, earned one of four At-Large spots on the city’s 13-member council with nearly 42,000 votes. After being sworn in on January 4, 2010 she became the first woman of color to serve in the 100-year history of the Boston City Council.
About Artists for Humanity
Founded in 1991, Artists for Humanity (AFH) empowers and employs Boston teens in an intensive program of arts, creativity, and enterprise. AFH partners youth with professional artist mentors to design, create, and sell fine art, industrial design, and digital graphic services. Within fully staffed studios, equipped in seven artistic media, youth and mentors collaborate on creative projects--many specifically commissioned by clients. Through this process, young artists develop entrepreneurial skills and introduce audiences to their voice, vision, and virtuosity. AFH apprentices have produced fine art and creative products for Boston’s largest firms and organizations.
The Artists for Humanity EpiCenter, opened in 2004 in the Fort Point Arts District of Boston, meets the highest levels of sustainability set by the U.S. Green Building Council. This LEED Platinum building, named one of the Top Ten Green Buildings in the country, and one of the Five Most Beautiful Buildings in Boston, informs youth about issues of environmental stewardship and serves as an inspiration and backdrop for their creativity. The Artists for Humanity EpiCenter provides a fitting venue for perhaps the largest permanent collection of youth-created fine art and design in the nation. The AFH model is now being disseminated internationally as organizations use their framework of responsibility, respect, and positive relationships to empower young people in their communities.