THANK YOU. It’s a simple set of words, a simple sentiment. We as humans are undoubtedly grateful for all of the intentional and unintentional assistance we have received in our lives, yet we seem not to acknowledge it quite enough. Below are acknowledgements to those to whom I owe great gratitude.
I would like to thank:
The anonymous transit operators, food service staffers, cleaners, help desk employees, and polite persons who have helped me over the years without so much as knowing me.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams School for the Arts Intermediate School 180 (I.S. 180), for instilling in me a love for learning while making me repeat — and believe — everyday to “never stop trying!”
DeWitt Clinton High School’s Macy Honors and Gifted Program, for cultivating a program — however imperfect — that allowed its students to defy expectations.
- Counselors Shelley Standish & Paula McKinnon, for believing in my potential and guiding me.
- Charles Evans & John Maguire, for grounding my life in the historical tradition and inspiring within me a commitment to the social sciences.
- Penny Trosterman, for teaching me to write (albeit breaking my spirit in the process).
- Andrea Osborn, for reinvigorating my relationship with mathematics and believing in my ability to defy expectations.
- Administrators, for dedicating their lives to the care of students and undertake those actions needed to ensure a safe, inclusive, and engaging environment.
- Department of English, for nurturing intellectual curiosity and higher order thinking with an unrivaled generosity and kindness.
- Mary Alice Haddad, whose energy, activism, and advice helped drive me even though she was never one of my formal faculty advisors.
- Makaela Kingsley, who singlehandedly wrangles the power of a connected alumni community to make social change.
FoodCorps, for investing in my professional development early in my career.
- Jerusha Klemperer, for her years as my closest collaborator.
- Curt Ellis, for his sage advice, support, and trust.
- Corps Members, Alumni, Staff, and Partners, for proving that it is possible to build a powerful nationwide movement around specific values and outcomes.
Funders of various components of my education and experience, including but not limited to the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Wesleyan University, the DeWitt Clinton High School Alumni Association, the Rotary Club of New York, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and my parents.
Margaret “Peggy” Leggat, for showing me that hunger and inequality that demands action exists within our very own communities.
My friends, for inspiring me with your generosity, care, and thoughtfulness,
My brother, for accompanying me in enjoying the privileges and confronting the challenges that we have been born into.
My father, for laboring sometimes seven nights a week, sacrificing himself to provide for me.
My mother, for showing me that love is limitless.