NYC Mission Society gathered on Tuesday evening to celebrate over 200 years of service to NYC’s most underserved communities of children through education, work internships, and music education through the annual Champions For Children Gala. President of the NYC Mission Society, Elsie McCabe Thompson, stated, “We are celebrating those who have been committed to empowering others to achieve their dreams. They embody a profound commitment to make the world a better place, one full of promise and of opportunity, particularly for our younger generations.”
The non-profit organization brought out New York Citys finest to learn more about the organization and present awards to several distinguished guests, including the Lifetime Achievement Award to Cathy Hughes.
Hughes was introduced by entrepreneur and last years’ recipient, Don Peebles, who described Hughes as his ‘longtime friend.’ He concluded her introduction, stating, “I am proud to present the lifetime achievement award to a woman who has spent her life dreaming of things that never were, asking why not, and making those dreams a reality.” Hughes started her media empire in a one-room office, that she eventually moved into with her young son while pursuing her dreams. Today, she now presides over 50 radio stations in various markets, a TV network, and multiple digital sites.
Though Hughes boasts a multimedia empire, she used her time on stage not to talk about herself, but rather push the importance of education, noting, “we are down to only 4 Black boarding schools left in America.” Hughes family owns a 109-year-old boarding school in Mississipi and credited the institution, as well as her family for the influential role education, has played in her life.
She called her fathers’ beliefs on education, “It was important for Black people to get an education, we were called negroes then, to free us from bondage and the residual effects of slavery.” Hughes credits her mother for instilling in her the spirit of ‘Why not?,” which has led to her success.
On the red carpet, Katherine Peebles, Champion For Children Gala co-chair, lauded Hughes on her impressive career and work ethic, stating that her life and characteristics, “embody the mission of the NYC Mission Society.”
Board Member of the NYC Mission Society, Jean Shafiroff, who was also wearing famed designer, B. Michael, told Hello Beautiful, “88% of our students go on to attend college.” The Mission Society, wanting to be even more impactful of their children, announced that they will be opening up a charter school in Harlem, the same location as their headquarters.
Find out more about the NYC Mission Society, here.
Watch Cathy Hughes entire speech and be inspired on the next page