Author: Cassie Benzinger
Published: Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014
[Junior Achievement of New York Annual Awards Dinner]A Corona, Queens student has $10,000 reasons to give thanks this coming holiday season. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Joseph Hernandez, a 12th grade student at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise high school, received a $10,000 Student of the Year Scholarship Award to support his college dreams at the 2014 Junior Achievement of New York Annual Awards Dinner hosted at Gotham Hall. Four hundred NYC and Long Island business leaders and professionals gathered to celebrate Joseph and to raise funds to support the delivery of free financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and college and career readiness programs to nearly 70,000 K-12 students. WABC-7 Eyewitness News anchor, Sandra Bookman <http://7ny.tv/1y8XAzn> , served as the mistress of ceremonies for the event, which raised more than $615,000. Joseph is the second student to receive JA of New York?s top student scholarship award. Thanks to the generosity of the Manuel H. and Claire Barron Scholarship Fund, each year, an under-resourced, high performing JA student receives the scholarship to support his/her college dreams. The Student of the Year Scholarship honoree distinguishes his/herself as an active and self-directed learner in Junior Achievement programs. Applicants go through a rigorous and competitive selection process to win the award. Successful candidates must exemplify the following qualifications and characteristics: * Be an exceptional model of a Junior Achievement scholar * Is enrolled in 12th grade during 2014-15 school year * Has participated in at least one JA of New York event in high school * Shows interest in developing entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy skills * Exhibits strong leadership skills and commitment to serving the community * Possess good communication skills * Has a 3.0 GPA or greaterJoseph aspires to one day become a public servant, and he has a deep interest in business and social entrepreneurship. He credits JA for helping him to become a model student and for teaching him the importance of giving back to his community.[Four hundred NYC and Long Island business leaders and professionals gathered at Gotham Hall to celebrate Student Achievement. Pictured (l to r): Joseph Peri, president of JA New York; Manuel H. Barron, Student of the Year Scholarship benefactor; Joseph Hernandez, 2014 Student of the Year Scholar; Claire Barron, Scholarship benefactor; Sandra Bookman, WABC-7 News Anchor and Awards Dinner Emcee; and Richard Poccia, JA of New York board chairman.]Four hundred NYC and Long Island business leaders and professionals gathered at Gotham Hall to celebrate Student Achievement.Joseph Peri, president of JA of New York <http://bit.ly/1tnooGU> , spoke about what made Joseph stand out from his peers as a candidate for the Student of the Year scholarship award. "There were a few things that made Joseph stand out in the selection process. One was the breadth of experiences he has. Joseph has been involved in Junior Achievement programs from the beginning of his high school career. Beyond that, it was how he was able to connect those experiences to his own life circumstances now, and his vision and dreams for what he wants to do in the future."The Annual Awards Dinner is JA of New York?s signature fall fundraising event. For the 400 NYC and Long Island business leaders and professionals in attendance, it was not difficult to see why JA of New York selected Joseph to be the 2014 Student of the Year honoree. Joseph?s passionate keynote address about his growing appreciation of business entrepreneurship was given a rousing standing ovation. His speech focused on Junior Achievement?s role in helping him to recognize and value the benefits of entrepreneurship.After watching his father struggle for years to run their family-owned bodega in Corona, Queens, Joseph confessed that at times he found entrepreneurship to be exhausting and discouraging. In his own words: "I stopped noticing all the good things about entrepreneurship. All I could see was the downside." Joseph credited his JA experience for "waking him up to the realities of life" by helping him to recognize the benefits of entrepreneurship for his family. "JA pushed me to think critically about entrepreneurship. It helped me to understand why my father does what he does, in spite of the setbacks and challenges of owning a business. And it helped me to appreciate the advantages that the business of entrepreneurship has provided for my family."Joseph?s keynote address was only one part of an inspirational and fun evening of activities. Highlights of the evening included a silent auction and a high-spirited live auction led by Jennifer Wright, specialist and Head of Sales, old master and 19th Century Drawings at Christies. In addition, a pledge drive highlighting three of JA of New York?s signature youth economic education and community service programs raised $23,000. All proceeds will be used to recruit, train and deploy business and community volunteer mentor resources to deliver free JA financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and college and career readiness programs to high need schools and community organizations in the New York City and Long Island Area.Learn more about Joseph Hernandez, JA New York?s 2014 Student of the Year Scholar!Click here to read Joseph?s keynote address <http://www.jany.org/docs/Joseph%20Hernandez%20Keynote%20Speech.pdf> .View photo highlights from the 2014 JA New York Annual Dinner <https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.589706421157513.1073741927.118373674957459&type=1&l=259c209bfa> .Click here to see a short video introduction to Joseph?s Story. <http://www.jany.org/support/awardsdinner.shtml>
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