Powered By Service: Usher's World Leadership Awards Offer PURE Inspiration!

Usher RaymondMy Friday evening couldn’t have been more charmed!:-)

Thanks to my *tweet* buddy Lotay Yang (@Lotay) founder of the Black Card Circle, last night I was fortunate to attend the 1st Annual World Leadership Awards hosted by Usher Raymond’s New Look Foundation, the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Black Card Circle Foundation at the Cobb Centre For Performing Arts!

Even with every auditorium seat filled with youth leaders (600+), corporate executives, philanthropists and supporters, the New Look crew managed to host an event that felt intimate, like friends gathering for a party to celebrate community service!

After being welcomed by event Chairs John and Cammie Rice, the evening kicked-off with a head-nodding performance from the New Look Foundation Youth Choir! Clearly mentees of Usher, the performance had a mix of rap, R&B solos and a catchy hook – powered by service! And yes, these teens could SING!:-)

Former President Bill Clinton was presented the Service Legacy Award, joking with the audience about being the honorary “old guy”. Bill may consider himself an old guy, but he’s still as charming as heck! President Clinton’s dedication to community service is to be admired, and I found his sage-like advice on good citizenship and appreciating the opportunities we’re afforded here in the United States, touching.

Additional New Look Honorees recognized for their outstanding community leadership:

  • The United States Tennis Association (USTA)  — Youth Catalyst Award
  • Justin Bieber (for his work with one of my FAV orgs, Pencils of Promise) — Global Youth Leadership Award
  • Chanita Robinson (who via the I Can’t, But U Can campaign registered 17,000 voters for the 2008 election) — Global Youth Leadership Award
  • The Summit Series (think business incubator +  innovative entrepreneurs + social change twist!) — Global Youth Leadership Award
  • Michelle Nunn (of the amazing Points of Light) — Global Ambassador of Youth Award
  • JY Park (Korean pop singer and youth artist developer) — Global Ambassador of Youth Award
  • Hital Muraj (who as an employee of Cisco living in Kenya, responded to the suffering of Kenyans by providing aid from her own personal finances! Hital’s acceptance of the New Look award was so genuine it literally brought tears to my eyes. She committed to taking her award back to Kenya to develop a million Ushers!:-) — Global Ambassador of Youth Award

The evening’s highlight came with the donation of a New Look Mobile Clinic presented to Wilson Jeudy, Mayor of Delmas, Haiti! Can you imagine what a mobile hospital will mean to Haiti’s Earthquake survivors? What would happen if other orgs and corporate sponsors took up the charge and followed suit with more mobile health units?! [hint, hint]

The night could have been over right there and I would’ve been 100% content — but it didn’t!:-)

After all the awards and acceptance speeches, we enjoyed performances from cute little Justin Bieber (@JustinBieber man, you should have heard the girls screaming!:-), Ciara (@Ciara all gazelle-like) and Usher (@UsherRaymondIV there are NO words!:-)

Yep, Usher treated us to There Goes My Baby, Yeah! and OMG! Mmm-hmm, the way that man performs… Sorry, I digress! LOL

Okay, so after all that [smiling], the 1st World Leadership Awards came to an end with a BEAUTIFUL rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine performed by Usher, Ciara and the New Look Youth Choir.

Soooooo fitting for an evening stuffed with memorable moments and heartfelt camaraderie!

Our youth are capable of such amazing, world changing feats when empowered.

I’m so thankful to Lotay, Usher and the New Look Foundation for reminding me of how special people can be when they apply their mind, heart and actions with sincerity.

To learn more about the work Usher is doing to empower a new generation of community leaders, visit the New Look Foundation, and follow them via Twitter at @CampNewLook and @PowerByService!

#PoweredByService and Usher [still smiling]…


Special thanks: World Leadership Awards Hosts Kevin Frazier (@KevinFrazierET Entertainment Tonight), Monica Pearson (our Hometown WSB-TV SHEro) and New Look Alum, 13 year old Nadji Jeter (@LilNadji so cute)! You guys and gal keep the evening flowing, and Monica, we (all the folks sitting next to me) loved the platinum hair — you looked FAB girl!:-)


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