Posts tagged with "mentorship"

Alya Alghamdi photo credits to Casey Withers used by 360 Magazine

Alya Alghamdi’s Sprint To Her Dreams

By Alya Alghamdi

Every fire begins with a single flame — mine was ignited with the thought of freedom. Growing up, I always knew there was something more for me. My sisters and I would talk often about what we wanted to be when we matured. They would mention their dreams to have a family and own a house, and I would simply reply, “I want to be on top of the world!”

Despite having a privileged childhood in Saudi Arabia, I longed for a life far beyond what material goods could provide because my fulfillment came from a deeper place — a place of purpose. As I grew, the flame burning inside spread like wildfire, consuming me. I knew my purpose was to burn bright, but the world in which I existed sought to extinguish that. It became clear that my journey to live as my true self would not be an easy one. Still, I decided at an early age that instead of letting my circumstances hold me back, I would redefine them to reflect the reality I wanted to live in.

At that time, I had no idea I would one day pursue athletics professionally. My potential as an athlete went untapped for many years due to the fact that Saudi Arabia did not allow women to go to the gym or join sports teams. It was simply unacceptable for a female to participate in any kind of physical activity. Still, this couldn’t and wouldn’t stop me from dreaming, hoping and impatiently waiting.

Foregoing the arranged marriage that is expected of Saudi Arabian women, I made the unfortunate discovery that my best chance at gaining freedom would come at the expense of leaving my family and my home. Still, I was determined to keep my fire burning, so I left for Europe. I chose my destiny to be a free human being, and that came with a lot of losses, but my gains far outweigh those costs.

In Europe, I was able to discover my true passion — running. I spent the majority of my time exploring new physical activities like long distance running, surfing, hiking and competing in marathons. The simple freedom of putting on your shoes in the morning and doing whatever you wanted to do was a completely new concept to me and I promised myself I would never take it for granted.

Staying true to my childhood pipe dreams and capitalizing on my new found freedom, I set my sights on making it to the top of the world – Mount Everest. This was one of the most difficult but rewarding things I have ever done, and it was just as treacherous, unwelcoming, and life-changing as one would imagine. By definition, the environment was inhospitable. Temperatures were below freezing, there was no running water and any water packed for the trip was frozen still. When you are placed in such a life-threatening position, suddenly, all you can think about is how much you want to live. That trip really opened my eyes to what was truly important in life — love and passion. For some people, they find those things in raising a child, but for me, I found it in my sport.

It was not long after my return from Mount Everest that Saudi Arabia’s Olympic Committee extended an invitation for me to take part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Physically I had reached the top of the world, but professionally, the Olympics became my new Mount Everest. Working with Olympic royalty Michael Johnson, I dedicated my entire life to training, thinking, dreaming and speaking only of the Olympics. Then, three weeks out from the games, my offer to compete was rescinded by Saudi Arabia due to a culturally based decision that had nothing to do with my ability as an athlete. This was earth-shattering for me. I had dedicated everything to training for this opportunity, to represent my country and make them proud, and in a flash, it was gone! I spiraled into a depression and my soul felt hollow where my fire used to burn.

My coach saw the internal anguish and he told me I was left with only two choices — go home or try again. With my options laid bare, the outcome became increasingly clear. I knew this was not the end of my Olympic journey and my fire once again started to burn. Picking up right where I left off, I trained vigorously for the 2020 Olympics, breaking the record for the 60-meter dash. I am also working toward breaking the 100 and 200-meter, which I am confident I can achieve with my abilities, as well as coach’s confidence in me. But my dreams becoming a reality were once again postponed, this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I now have my sights set on carrying my country’s flag at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

However, to be clear, the Olympics are not my endgame. Once the games are in my rearview, I plan on starting a mentorship program and non-profit foundation for young Saudi Arabian female athletes to provide them with the support and resources I did not have during my training journey. Ultimately, I’m not here to break a record, I’m here to show women they can accomplish anything, even with just a single flame.

Follow Alya Alghamdi: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Community illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Renewal Award Winners 

A global pandemic. Racial injustice. Extreme political polarization. In an incredibly challenged moment for the country, extraordinary people in communities across America are working tirelessly to light the way forward. Community-based organizations have become essential lifelines, which is why five nonprofits that represent the brightest lights were chosen as recipients of this year’s Renewal Awards.

The Renewal Awards, presented by The Atlantic and Allstate, is a national competition recognizing organizations that use innovative solutions to create lasting change in their communities. This year’s winners are the 5th class of award recipients and were selected from more than 13,000 nominations. Each winner receives a $40,000 grant to amplify their mission of helping others, along with national recognition that elevates their profile and awareness for their work.

Despite facing significant funding and staffing challenges in this unprecedented year, the winning organizations continue to stay relentlessly focused on the most pervasive and systemic challenges affecting society—homelessness, educational equity, skills and job training, and children and families in need. Each organization serves different needs, but all are united by a core belief that defines our times—no matter who we are, we can lift each other up in times of need.

2020 WINNERS

  • Choose 180 (Burien, WA): Engages youth in critical moments and empowers them to make positive changes in their lives, especially when facing jail time or school expulsion. *Allstate Youth Empowerment Award Winner.
  • College to Congress (Washington, D.C.): Levels the playing field and fosters bipartisanship for congressional interns, providing both financial support and mentorship across the aisle.
  • Facing Homelessness (The BLOCK Project) (Seattle, WA): Integrates 125-square-foot detached accessory dwelling units in residential backyards to reduce homelessness.
  • Hello Neighbor (Pittsburgh, PA): Supports recently resettled refugees with mentorship, educational training, and community events.
  • More Than Words (Waltham, MA): Empowers youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless, or out of school by helping to run a bookstore.

The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein writes about the work of this year’s winners, and the larger story they tell about the country, in a piece published today: “Real Reform Comes From Civic Stamina”. “We are proud to continue this critical partnership with Allstate, especially during the unprecedented events dramatically affecting all communities across the country,” said Hayley Romer, The Atlantic’s Publisher and CRO. “The generous spirit and relentless work modeled by these community leaders is inspiring and driving the progress we need.”

“2020 has changed our way of life, yet these five organizations continue to find ways to serve others despite the enormous challenges they face,” explained Stacy Sharpe, Allstate’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Brand. “These amazing community leaders should remind us all that anything is possible when you know your purpose and have the passion to create a lasting impact.”

Finalists were selected by The Atlantic’s editors and writers. Winners were evaluated by a panel of judges who include former Mayors Rahm Emanuel (Chicago) and Karen Freeman-Wilson (Gary, IN); Anne Marie Burgoyne, managing director of social innovation at Emerson Collective; Kate Nack, director of The Allstate Foundation; former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Florida); and two past Renewal Award winners, Juedy Mom, director of The Compton Initiative, and Pamela Urquieta, CEO and Executive director of Let’s Innovate Through Education. Allstate selected the Youth Empowerment Award winner.

Started in 2015, The Renewal Awards spotlight grassroots solutions to challenges faced by communities around the country and the people making a positive difference. The awards are the flagship initiative of The Renewal Project, The Atlantic and Allstate’s broader partnership that covers innovation and celebrates change-makers in local communities. With this year’s award, 31 organizations have received more than $800,000 in funding from The Atlantic and Allstate to further their work. To learn more about the awards, and read about past winners, please visit TheRenewalProject.com.

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Sean Dubravac, 360 MAGAZINE, ImPOWER Youth, Beverly Hills

ImPOWER Youth Fundraiser

At Caffe Roma Lounge in Beverly Hills, ImPOWER Youth hosted their annual “Back to School Fun-draiser”. ImPOWER Youth is a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth to believe in themselves and discover their full potential through mentorship, exposure to opportunities, and life skills development.


Nearly 200 people came out in support of ImPOWER Youth and their programs in leadership development, financial literacy, and community building.

To learn more about ImPOWER Youth, visit impoweryouth.org

*Photo courtesy of Sean Dubravac

University of Cambridge Partners with Global Prosperity Initiative

University of Cambridge and The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity Announces Partnership

The UAE is encouraging start-ups and corporations from around the world to collaborate and partner for global good

The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity (the Global Prosperity Initiative), an initiative of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), signs partnership with the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at the UK-UAE Business Council in London.

With monetary prizes, mentorship, and access to global organizations, worth up to US$1 million, the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity brings together a community of ‘makers’ to tackle some of the world’s toughest societal problems that affect over 1 billion people globally. In alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Prosperity Initiative aims to empower entrepreneurs, innovators and technologists to drive social innovation and promote global good.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity combines the Global Maker Challenge, an online open-innovation platform designed to promote and accelerate global prosperity through product innovation; and the Global Prosperity Award, a prestigious global accolade that recognizes and rewards corporate social responsibility that advances resilience, community, harmony and dignity across the world.

The Global Maker Challenge consists of four challenges, each targeting a specific global issue which global organizations can adopt as part of their corporate social responsibility. The four challenges were determined in partnership with eight UN agencies and, so far, over 1,100 submissions have poured in from 83 countries, with strong participation from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) such as Uganda, Laos, Sudan, and Congo.

Each of the winning solutions to the four challenges will be presented to a panel of international experts brought together by the University of Cambridge IfM to demonstrate its socio-economic impact and its contribution to advancing one or more of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel will then determine the solution with the greatest socio-economic impact in order for its adopting organization to qualify for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s Global Prosperity Award as a recognition of its corporate social responsibility.

Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organizing Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS), said: “The University of Cambridge has a long history of innovation in the fields of science and technology that has contributed immensely to society, a goal which is at the heart of the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity. Our platform has already inspired innovators from all corners of the world to come forward and solve issues that we face together, whether that be in bridging the digital divide or eliminating hunger. Through our cooperation with the University of Cambridge, and our partnerships with global organizations, we can also encourage greater corporate social responsibility through the adoption of these solutions and promote global good through the international business community.”

Tim Minshall, Dr John C Taylor Professor of Innovation & Head of the Institute for Manufacturing, said: “The Institute for Manufacturing are pleased to be part of this initiative which highlights the importance of taking innovative approaches to solving real-world problems. We are looking forward to hearing from innovators whose novel ideas have the potential to make a positive and lasting impact on global prosperity.”

The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity was first launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, during the inaugural Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit, held at the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in March 2017.

BRAG Announces 48th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala

BRAG, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, has announced the 2018 honorees for the 48th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala will include Bloomingdale’s Vice President of Integrated Marketing Kevin Harter, LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, and Balmain Managing Director Shawn Pean This year’s award ceremony will be held on Friday, October 19, 2018at The Edison Ballroom located at 240 West 47th Street, New York, NY at 6pm.

“We are so excited to celebrate these fashion industry leaders whose work history and efforts demonstrate visions that are aligned with our brand mission; to prepare and educate professionals, entrepreneurs and students of color for executive leadership roles in retail, fashion and related industries,” said BRAG co-presidents Nicole Cokley Dunlap and Shawn Outler.

Committed to attracting and cultivating a diverse bench of talent needed to drive innovation in the fashion industry, the 2018 48th Annual BRAG Scholarship & Awards Gala recognizes the achievements of exceptional individuals who are redefining the future of retail and fashion. Scholarships will also be awarded to college students who demonstrate an interest in fashion and have the aptitude to become future leaders.

Past BRAG Gala honorees have included fashion mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, supermodel Naomi Campbell, NFL superstar Victor Cruz, entrepreneur Magic Johnson, designer Zac Posen and Macy’s CEO Terry J. Lundgren.

Since 1970, BRAG has provided professional development, mentorship, and job opportunities for thousands of alumni through internships, workshops, panel discussions, and networking events.  The annual gala is the organization’s marquee event that includes a three-course dinner, cocktails, music and entertainment, attracting the who’s who in fashion, art, entertainment, business and philanthropy, which, to date, has helped BRAG award over $1 million in scholarships to students who have achieved academic success and demonstrated a need for financial aid.

For more information on BRAG and/or the 2018 BRAG honorees please visit www.bragusa.org.  On social media, please follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Hennessy × Miguel Cotto

The Six-Time Champion and Future Hall of Fame Boxer Recognized for His Success in the Ring and Philanthropy Outside the Ring

Hennessy, the world’s best-selling Cognac, honored six-time championship boxer and philanthropist Miguel Cotto, as the recipient of the 14th annual V.S.O.P Privilège Award. The Privilège Award recognizes Cotto’s mastery in the boxing ring, which has spanned more than 15 years – as well as his contributions and dedication to empowering the Latino community and his home of Puerto Rico.

Now in its 14th year, the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Award is bestowed to individuals who are not only masters at their craft, but have achieved unparalleled levels of accomplishment and use that success to inspire and give back to their community through leadership, service and mentorship.

Cotto, who recently retired after one of the most storied careers in modern boxing, began his professional fighting in 2001 and has since risen above every obstacle, injury and adversary to leave an indelible mark on the sport – with a 41-6-0 record and winning championship belts in four weight classes. In addition to his showmanship in the ring – Cotto has shown just as much passion outside of the ring, empowering Latinos through his Fundacion El Angel de Miguel Cotto charity – where most recently he’s spent his efforts in helping the Hurricane Maria recovery across the island of his home of Puerto Rico.

“It is a true honor to be presented with the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Award,” said Cotto. “Like Hennessy, I am dedicated to empowering future generations, and being recognized for these efforts is both humbling and inspiring.”

During the evening, Hennessy also announced its donation, on behalf of Miguel Cotto, to the Hispanic Federation to help support his continued efforts to rebuild and bring relief to Puerto Rico, and to the Fundacion El Angel de Miguel Cotto to support the boxer’s ongoing community efforts.

About Hennessy

In 2018, the Maison Hennessy celebrates over two and half centuries of an exceptional adventure that has linked two families, the Hennessys and the Fillioux, for eight generations and spanned five continents. It began in the French region of Cognac, the seat from which the Maison has constantly passed down the best the land has to give, from one generation to the next. In particular, such longevity is thanks to those people, past and present, who have ensured Hennessy’s success both locally and around the world. Hennessy’s success and longevity are also the result of the values the Maison has upheld since its creation: unique savoir-faire, a constant quest for innovation, and an unwavering commitment to Creation, Excellence, Legacy, and Sustainable Development. Today, these qualities are the hallmark of a House – a crown jewel in the LVMH Group – that crafts iconic and prestigious Cognacs.

Hennessy is imported and distributed in the U.S. by Moët Hennessy USA. Hennessy distills, ages and blends spanning a full range: Hennessy V.S, Hennessy Black, V.S.O.P Privilège, X.O, Paradis, Paradis Impérial and Richard Hennessy. For more information and where to purchase/ engrave, please visit Hennessy.com.

SOURCE Hennessy