2018 Daniel Trust Awards - A Family Reunion

Watch the video recap for The 5th Annual Daniel Trust Awards. Video: Djess Jacques

Every year, Daniel Trust Foundation holds an awards dinner to celebrate its accomplishments and every year the Foundation grows in number, expanding not only the list of students impacted by its generous mission, which is to invest in and support low-income students with their educational and professional goals, but the Foundation has also grown it's list of stakeholders; those who are willing to invest their time, money, and heart into the work of the Foundation.

But "stakeholders," however, falls short in describing the relationship that the Foundation's donors and volunteers have with its beneficiaries. Given the amount of love, kindness, and generosity shown at The Daniel Trust Awards consistently for the past 5 years, it seems more appropriate to call Daniel Trust Foundation's stakeholders a family.

State Senator Ed Gomes (left) and State Senator Marilyn Moore (Right). Photo: Olivier Kpognon

Just last week on June 7, 2018, Daniel Trust Foundation gathered its family once again to honor 11 high school seniors with a 4-year $2,000 scholarship (students receive $500 per year) and 10 outstanding high school teachers with a $250 honorarium at The 5th Annual Daniel Trust Awards. Joining the ceremony was State Senator Ed Gomes, State Senator Marilyn Moore, and joining on video was U.S. Senator Chris Murphy who couldn't attend the event in person, but offered an enduring message for the Foundation's audience.

Watch U.S. Senator Chris Murphy's message to our College Scholars and Teacher Honorees.

Also speaking at the event were all the teachers awarded with The Kathy Silver Award. After accepting their awards on stage each teacher expressed genuine thanks for the honor as they spoke on their experience as an educator in the Bridgeport Public School System and the challenges that come with it. One teacher, William King, elegantly closed his speech with a commendation of all the teachers and students in the room.

“I like to think of students and teachers as agents in the creation of a beautiful work of art. We are the miniature pieces that gives life its detail, its reflection, color, and ultimately value. This value can be captured in the African philosophy Ubuntu which says “that I can be, because of who we are together.” Celebrating this event is our appreciation and it is also an invitation to move continuously in the direction of hope while placing our lives in the arms of care."

—William King

William King speaking in front of an audience at the 5th annual Daniel Trust Award Dinner. Photo: Olivier Kpognon

Following the presentation of awards, the Foundation brought to light a pleasant announcement concerning its Team. Natalie Ortiz, one of the Foundation's first scholarship recipients and a recent graduate from the University of Bridgeport, had joined the Foundation's staff as Program Manager, leading and managing the Foundation's programs and services. Natalie, who was moments earlier brought to tears by all of the teacher's heartfelt speeches also spoke on stage at the event giving an account of her trials in college as well as her personal growth.

“I remember 4 years ago, it was a different room and I was standing up here receiving a scholarship and I was ... shy … Now I can say that being part of Daniel Trust Foundation has allowed me to become a more confident and bold and independent individual and because of that I thank Daniel and all of you.”

Natalie Ortiz

Natalie Ortiz speaking in front of an audience at the 5th annual Daniel Trust Award Dinner. Photo: Olivier Kpognon

Like Natalie, the Foundation has shown considerable growth and continues to grow exponentially as more students are impacted by the Foundation's influence and more teachers are recognized for their excellent work with students. Earlier this year, Daniel Trust Foundation expanded its efforts to invest in and support low-income students in New York City on top of its ongoing work with the Bridgeport community.

The 2018 Daniel Trust Scholars and The Kathy Silver Awards recipients on the Red Carpet. Photo by Olivier Kpognon

For more information about the Foundation, please click here.

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