12th Annual Power of a Dream Gala

   June 04, 2013
   J.W. Marriott in Washington D.C o

Primetime Emmy Award-Winning Actor, Singer and comedian, Wayne Brady and Tony Award nominated actress and singer, Sheryl Lee Ralph wowed the crowd with their energy and humor, at the J.W. Marriott in Washington D.C on June 4, 2013. The successful gala, themed "Inspired to Dream", hosted over 400 guests and was presented by Amway. Lalah Hathaway, daughter of the legendary Donny Hathaway, was a surprise guest and soothed the audience with her sweet & melodic voice. Dream Academy Founder & President, Wintley Phipps, welcomed students from the Academy who performed a series of energetic songs. A highlight of the evening was the performance from Wayne Brady and the Dreamkids which brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. Other notable attendees and supporters included U.S. Surgeon General,Dr. Regina Benjamin, Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan, Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2013, Rachel Wyatt, and Emmy Award winning Anchor, Cynne Simpson. Each year, the Power of a Dream Gala attracts the support of Hollywood celebrities; political figures, corporate executives, community leaders, and VIPs to invest and raise awareness to further help U.S. Dream Academy programs succeed in making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth and children of incarcerated parents. The U.S. Dream Academy builds its work on three programmatic pillars, including; -skill-building, character-building, and dream-building-to nurture the whole child. The after-school program helps young people to dare to dream- and then help them take the first steps toward attaining their dreams. Other guests included; Gala Chair Andrew Bertamini (Regional President, Wells Fargo Bank) and Gala Honorary Co-Chairs;Darien C. Grant (J.D. of Turner Construction Company) and Michael Melton, Esq. (President and CEO, MEM Enterprises and President of 100 Black Men, Washington, D.C.). This year’s Honorees were Alexis Herman (23rd U.S. Secretary of Labor, serving under President Bill Clinton) and Rep. Elijah Cummings, Jr. (U.S. Representative for Maryland's 7th Congressional District) and Wes Moore (businessman, US Army veteran and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Other Wes Moore, and host of "Beyond Belief" on the Oprah Winfrey Network). Tanesha Bedford, from the Philadelphia Dream Academy Learning Center was honored as the Mentor of the Year.