Power of Partnerships The Washington Center

On Monday, October 2nd, hundreds of TWC's partners—including colleges, universities, corporations, nonprofits, liaisons, alumni, friends and family—converged in Washington, D.C. for the Fall 2017 Awards Luncheon and the Annual Scholarship Dinner. The theme of this year's festivities was honoring and celebrating the Power of Partnerships.

Fall 2017 Awards Luncheon

The Fall 2017 Awards Luncheon at the National Press Club kicked off the celebratory day. TWC recognized and honored various colleges and universities by awarding the prestigious Partnership Awards and the Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards.

The luncheon was hosted by Chris Norton, the President of TWC, and the new chairman of TWC's Board of Trustees, John Hilton. Guests included college and university presidents, provosts, deans, administrators, faculty and TWC liaisons.

Fall 2017 Awards Luncheon

Partnership Award Recipients:

  • David Myers from Alvernia University | Liaison of the Year
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania | State Partnership of the Year
  • Earlham College | New Affiliate of the Year
  • Hofstra University | Private Institution of the Year
  • Quinnipiac University | Academic Seminar Partner of the Year
  • University of Washington | Public Institution of the Year

Higher Education Civic Engagement Award Recipients

  • Guilford College
  • Keene State College
  • Northern Arizona University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • State University of New York at Plattsburgh

Annual Scholarship Dinner

The celebration concluded with the Annual Scholarship Dinner, which took place in the National Building Museum's grand hall. More than $400,000 was raised for TWC's Scholarship Fund, which provides students with financial barriers the opportunity to participate in The Washington Center’s impactful experiential education programs. Over 500 guests enjoyed refreshments and music from a DJ in three separate lounges for university partners, alumni and The Washington Center. The evening focused on four different success stories, or constellations, that were a product of TWC and its wide array of partners.

Higher Education

The first constellation was presented by the acting president of Suffolk University, Marisa Kelly, which has over 40 years of rich partnership history with TWC. President Kelly was joined on stage by Aaron Taylor from Grant Thornton LLC, a TWC internship site partner; Gina De Mateo and Taylor Magnussen, two Fall 2017 TWC students, and Jakira Rogers, a 2016 TWC and Suffolk University alumna. Rogers was able to attend TWC's program thanks to the generosity of AT&T—represented by its Assistant Vice President, Susan Santana—which has supported TWC students since 1985, and currently sponsors the Leadership Initiative for Students with Disabilities.

Giving Back

The second constellation was presented by Karen Price-Ward, a 1992 alumna of TWC's Minority Leadership Program and a Coca-Cola Fellow. Price-Ward shared her story about becoming the Community Manager at Southwest Airlines. She explained how her TWC experience, in which she interned with the Democratic National Committee, paved the way for her future professional trajectory. She is now the Community Affairs Manager at Southwest Airlines, which allows for her to give back to TWC students by providing Southwest airlines vouchers for students to travel to Washington, D.C. She was joined on stage by the former Director of the Minority Leaders Program, Arleen Ramirez Borysiewicz; the Deputy Director of the Democratic National Committee, Colby Moore, and two of TWC's current students, Tania Ocampo and Nicholas Andary.


The third constellation was presented by Ana María Castro Monzón, a 2016 alumna of TWC's Women's Empowerment Seminar, which was sponsored by the Government of the State of Sonora, Mexico. Ana is now the CEO and Founder of Global Youth Leadership, and assists in the execution of the new empowerment initiative. She shared the story of the 160 women who came to Washington for a seminar, and came back to Mexico empowered to become agents of change in their communities. She was joined on stage by a representative from the Government of Sonora, Antonio Uruchurtu; the Senior Director of TWC's Advanced Leadership Seminar, Jung Lim, and an alumnus of the 2008 National Convention Academic Seminar and a speaker at the Women's Empowerment Seminar, Federico Quinzaños,


The last constellation kicked off with the Vice President of Veterans Initiatives for Prudential, Jim Beamesderfer, which sponsors the Veterans Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative. He was then joined on stage by Ron Aderhold, a 2017 alumnus of the VET Initiative and Founder of Operation Bedroll, an initiative resulting from a partnership between TWC and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Aderhold was then joined on stage by his internship supervisor from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Randy Brown; the Manager of the VET Initiative program, Michael Duerr, and the President of the Student Veterans of America, Jared Lyon, which serves as a partner and ally for student veterans through its more than 1,500 national chapters.

TWC also honored the outgoing Chairman of the TWC Board of Trustees, Ambassador Alan Blinken, with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ambassador Blinken served as Chairman of the board for 16 years and it was a special opportunity to recognize his remarkable years of service to TWC. Ambassador Blinken is succeeded by John Hilton, the new Chairman of the board.

For pictures from the events, please visit TWC's Flickr pages below.

Created By
The Washington Center Dashevsky

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