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Social Impact Summit - October 2016

On Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Wooster School held our first Social Impact Summit sponsored by the Center for Social Impact, led by Prefect Marie Klepacz. We welcomed seven keynote guests to our campus for the day, each representing various organizations making a difference around the world. The day began in the Forever Young Gymnasium for all students grades 6 through 12 where we heard a brief story of inspiration from each keynote guest. From there, students were dismissed to various locations on campus to work side by side with our faculty and our keynote guests on relevant issues around the world including in our own backyard.

Carrie Amos

Mrs. Carrie Amos is the Executive Director of the Jericho Partnership, Inc., a collaborative partnership of Christ-centered churches, word-and-deed ministries and private foundations serving the youth, homeless, and adults at-risk in Danbury, CT. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector and has extensive experience in leadership, project management, and client-centered clinical work with individuals and groups. In addition to her position at Jericho Partnership, she is an adjunct professor of social work at Fordham University, teaching various course offerings for Bachelor- and Master level students.

Mrs. Amos received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Manhattanville College and a Masters in Social Work at Fordham University. She served in direct clinical services at Putnam Associated Resource Centers for 12 years and has been involved in community organizing, mentoring and grant writing and clinical work. Carrie is passionate about serving God in the city through word and deed ministry in collaboration with others.

A greater Danbury area resident, Mrs. Amos and her husband, have three children; Grayce, Jackson and Cathryn.

Mike Evans

Mr. Evans is a middle school Spanish teacher currently here at Wooster. Mr. Evans background is mainly associated with basketball being the center piece to making a difference. After graduating college, he played professional basketball in Belfast, which is located in Northern Ireland. The community there was very rigid, something that didn’t sit well with him. He then worked tediously to build a youth basketball program that mixed the community in Belfast, and achieved this goal. This laid the groundwork for his non-profit organization, Full Court Peace. The mission of Full Court Peace is to unite, strengthen, and educate local & global communities. FCP is to bring together people of all ethnicities, and build positive relationships between them, no matter their circumstances. Mr. Evans is working on building youth basketball communities in Juarez, Mexico and Havana, Cuba. It is very important to expose kids from our local areas to kids that live internationally, in order to give both groups a new perspective. Kids can connect and educate each other with their personal experiences. Mr. Evans is continuing his work with this thriving organization, and we at Wooster are lucky enough to be apart of the experience.

Lynette Gay

Lynette Gay currently serves as Managing Director of Kensington Capital Childrens Fund, an organization that supports and works with multiple charities around the world.

In 2002, she helped launch Engage Now, an integrated development program in Ethiopias Rift Valley, which has expanded to include Ghana, Sierra Leone, Namibia, and Uganda. The initiatives seeking to reduce poverty, encourage self reliance and strengthen families in these countries include; micro-credit, education and literacy, medical services, water and sanitation, orphan support, and preventing modern slavery in all its forms.

Engage Now was a registered Africa Non-Profit in 2002 and in 2010 became a U.S. registered 501 C-3 called Engage Now Africa. Lynette currently serves as CEO and Chair of Engage Now Africa.

In 2010, Lynette and husband Bob, founded and built Ensign College of Public Health in Kpong, Ghana, offering graduate degrees in public health. Completed in 2014 in conjunction with KNUST Ghana, and the University of Utah, the college has become a unique educational platform in Africa, which seeks to collaborate with health and educational initiatives and organizations, global health innovations programs, and creating partnerships to improve the health in the communities of Africa, as well as around the globe. It will shortly be a U.S. accredited college thru its partnership with the University of Utah and is looking to expand its undergraduate programs as well as additional graduate programs.

Lynette currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Ensign College of Public Health. Gay has been active in leadership roles in several other organizations including; The Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance, World Congress of Families, and serving as a board member of Board of Trustees of Southern Virginia University. She has also served in leadership positions in several different capacities through her membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Lynette is a medical assistant and has organized and worked in rural medical clinics throughout Africa for 15 years. She and her husband, Elder Robert C. Gay, lived in Ghana, West Africa from 2004-2007, while serving as Mission President in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They continue to work with self-reliance development in these countries.

Lynette is also serving along with her husband Robert C Gay in his calling as a member of the Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Lynette and Bob have been married for 43 years and have seven married children and 18 amazing grandchildren. They currently have 4 grandchildren attending Wooster.

Chris Kuuk

Dr. Kukk is Professor of Political Science/Social Science at Western Connecticut State University, a Fulbright Scholar, HarperCollins author of The Compassionate Achiever, founding Director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation, Director of the Kathwari Honors Program, founder of the University’s Debate Team, and member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is also co-founder and CEO of InnovOwl LLC, a research and consulting firm that solves micro and macro problems through innovative education. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College and his B.A. in political science from Boston University. He was also an international security fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His research and publications combine neuroscience with the social sciences and focus on education issues, the political economy of natural resources and the creation and sustainability of civil society. Dr. Kukk was also a counter-intelligence agent for the United States Army, a research associate for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and has provided the Associated Press, National Public Radio, The Economist magazine, NBC-TV, CableVision, and Connecticut media with analysis on a wide range of topics and issues. His forthcoming children and trade books are based on the idea of weaving values such as compassion into our learning, civic and business communities.

Jerry McKinstry

Mr. McKinstry is the Managing Director for The November Team (TNT), a leading New York political and corporate communications firm.

Mr. McKinstry, a seasoned communications executive and a former Newsday columnist and editorial board member, will oversee TNT’s corporate communications unit and buttress the firm’s rapidly expanding political communications operation.

“Jerry McKinstry is a number one draft pick — as a strategist, writer, and client manager — and The November Team couldn’t be more excited to welcome him aboard,” said TNT co-founder Bill O’Reilly. “As a former journalist and editorial board member, Jerry will offer November’s clients extraordinary insights into the news media and a deep intellectual maturity to help them develop winning press strategies.”

Mr. McKinstry, a Yonkers native who now lives in Ridgefield, Conn., most recently was a senior account executive at Thompson & Bender, a leading full service advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Briarcliff Manor where he was responsible for a wide array of corporate, government, real estate, not-for-profit and education clients.

Prior to working in public relations, McKinstry was a columnist and Editorial Board member for Newsday where he was responsible for coverage areas including New York State politics and policy issues pertaining to the northern suburbs of New York City and the Hudson Valley. While at Newsday, McKinstry covered the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.; the 2012 presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.

Before Newsday, Mr. McKinstry was an investigative reporter and political correspondent for The Journal News where he covered county government, state affairs and politics. During his nearly 12 years with Gannett, Mr. McKinstry covered just about every beat and municipality in the region and was a regular contributor to page one of the newspaper.

While at Gannett, McKinstry was for 10 years an adjunct professor at Iona College, where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in journalism, editing and media history. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Manhattan College and a Masters of Science degree in Print and Online Journalism from Iona College.

During his distinguished journalism career, McKinstry has won many awards from the Associated Press, New York Press Association and Gannett. During his tenure on the Newsday Editorial Board, the board was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. He’s appeared on National Public Radio, Regional News Network, FIOS 1 and News12, where he was a panelist on live debates for the Westchester county executive and district attorney races as well as “The New Tappan Zee Bridge: A News 12 Town Meeting,” which was a finalist for the Deadline Club’s Public Service Award in 2012.

Mr.McKinstry co-hosts a weekly radio show — “The Sounding Board” — on WVOX 1460 AM in Westchester County.

He lives in Ridgefield, Conn. with his wife Amy, and two children.

Fran Sheff-Mauer

Here is how Mrs. Sheff-Mauer describes herself:

I am a creative director whose work has been seen everywhere from the Super Bowl to YouTube and beyond.

My traditional and digital work has been recognized nationally and internationally with Cannes Lions, Effie Gold and Silvers (also a finalist for the Grand Effie), One Show Interactive and more.

As I have evolved, I am doing branding and design work for non -profit organizations and small businesses.

I am a do-gooder.

Working in New York on 9/11– like many of my colleagues, I felt at a loss to do something to help my fellow New Yorkers. To do something meaningful and to teach my young daughter that we needed to make a difference.

What I learned then is what I know now. We need the courage to show up. Show up in communities that need help hope and healing - Volunteer in your hometown to make a difference, do an afternoon of service. We all can find the time.

And that no matter our age, we can make a difference in the world.

Combining my love of New York, design, and my personal need to Pay-It-Forward, I am a Consultant for Marketing and Branding for New York Says Thank You Foundation. A growing national and global “Pay-It-Forward service movement. We have done projects in all 50 states and around the world. I am responsible for unifying their website, branding and developing content and all materials going forward. We have just launched Stars of HOPE® Box of HOPE. The very first service project that can be done at home or in office. I have designed all materials and packaging for this project. We have developed a social campaign, LOVE is stronger than hate. This message is very timely with what is going on in our country and the world.

I grew up in New York, graduated from Newhouse School of Communications and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. I continue to take design classes at SVA. I have lectured at Syracuse University, College of VPA and at Johns Hopkins University on advertising and design. I live in Weston, Connecticut with my husband and daughter and am on the board of the Weston Historical Society.

For more information or
to get involved, contact:

Mike Evans

Director of the Center for Social Impact

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