On Roosevelt Island

Young Global Leadership Shines On Roosevelt Island: J Luce Foundation Awards

Updated 3 years ago David Stone
New Foundation Director Tony Abdelghany with Founder Jim Luce
New Foundation Director Tony Abdelghany with Founder Jim Luce
© David Stone for the Roosevelt Island Daily
The future is in the hands of young people who see the world differently than past generations. Roosevelt Island's J. Luce Foundation dedicated this summer to mentoring a promising group, honing skills they will use in helping create a better world. Last night, they got their awards.

In a lively awards ceremony hosted by the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation's new Executive Director Tony Abdelghany, recognition was also given to the global advisors who have seasoned the experience with their knowledge, shared wisdom and passion.

Note: the above organization will henceforth be known as the J. Luce Foundation or just "the foundation," as a concession to lazy writers, like me, who contribute to this newspaper.

The night belonged to the Young Global Leaders, who each spent a summer on Roosevelt Island, learning skills from our own international philanthropist, Jim Luce (Orphans International Worldwide), Toastmasters, the Lions Club International and others the foundation called on for help.

J. Luce Foundation, Young Global Leaders, Class of 2016

The interns selected to be the program's first gifts to the larger world represent an appropriately international range of enthusiasms and goals.

  • Leyla Wahedi:

    Leyla Wahedi studies Engineering at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and will  study Civil Engineering at CUNY City College. She served as president and secretary to her Lions Club Chapter as well as treasurer of her school’s engineering club. Leyla has special interest in the green renewable energy design and is helping a middle school in the Bronx start a roof top garden. Leyla is a contributor to the Stewardship report and is currently partaking in a ToastMasters club. At the James J.D. Luce Foundation, Leyla leads on tech support through filtering the Foundation’s emails, creating a 30,000 contact database, as well as other projects. 

    Hector Liang:

    Hector grew up in Venezuela, but has also spent a few years in China. Currently he is studying Computer Science at Borough of Manhattan of Community College. In addition, Hector spends time as a member and former president of a service club at his college, the New York Tribeca Campus Lions Club. He is also taking part in foundation’s ToastMasters chapter. As a Senior Young Global Leader at the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation he helps with journalism in the Stewardship Report, special events, and database management.  

    Nicholas Vazquez:

    Nicholas Angelo Vazquez was born and raised in the Bronx. He is a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, studying Graphic Design. He hopes to go on to Parsons University for his Bachelor’s Degree and wants to end his educational journey at Yale University. Nicholas is soon to be an advocate for the UNICEF congressional Action Teams and will be starting a One Campaign chapter at BMCC to raise awareness on extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Amongst all of this, he is also playing a critical role in fundraising for children in Myanmar and has begun his website Voice of the Children, where he blogs of child labor stories. Nicholas has been an active member in his Lions Club chapter and ToastMasters club. As a Young Global Leader of the James J.D. Luce Foundation, Nicholas serves in helping with Public Relations and publishing to the Stewardship Report.

    Justine Lee:

    Justine Lee is a native New Yorker who has received her A.A degree in Liberal Arts. Justine continues her academic journey at New York City College of Technology where she will pursue her B. Tech in Communication Design with a specialization in graphic design. Justine is a member of her Lions Club chapter and ToastMasters Club and is helping as a Communications & Social Media, Photography & Videography Young Global Leader at the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation.

    Israel Santana:

    Israel Santana was raised in the Dominican Republic and is a current resident of New York City. Israel is a Criminal Justice major at Borough of Manhattan Community College and will continue his education at John Jay College with hopes of pursuing Law School. As a Journalist, Events & Social Media Senior Young Global Leader at the James J.D. Luce Foundation, he works tirelessly each day on the social media platforms the Foundation uses as well as posting to the Stewardship Report. Israel delivers speeches through his participation in a ToastMasters club and serves his community by partaking in his college’s Lions Club. 

    Matthew Dosikas:

    Matthew Dotsikas is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo, earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Marketing Minor. He has studied abroad at Akita International University in Akita, Japan. He is a member of the Business Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma and The J. Luce Foundation Toast Masters Club. In addition, he has experience as an ESL assistant and as Secretary and then Vice President of the Japanese Culture Club at SUNY Geneseo.

    Ben Salom:

    Ben Salom is a communication, social media, and Public Relations Young Global Leader at the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation. Born and raised in New York City, he is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Media Studies at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. His past work experience includes community service oriented posts such as peer-mentoring younger classmates, and volunteering at hospitals, urban farms, and food preparation for the infirm. Ben is currently involved in the Foundation’s ToastMasters Club and has a passion for expanding his knowledge while also helping others.

    Mathew Luce:

    Mathew Luce is a Global Advisor and Office Manager for The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation. He is currently studying Liberal Arts at BMCC and is thinking of becoming a physical therapist or chiropractor. Mathew is a member of The J. Luce Foundation Toast Masters Club and also the NY Global Leader Lions Club. He was adopted from Indonesia, and is fluent in both English and Indonesian. At the age of eighteen, he decided to help his father, Jim Luce, with the foundation. He has experience instructing many different forms of dance and working in a massage parlor. Mathew also received his bar tending license and has acted as bartender for many events.

    Chundie Huang:

    Chundie Huang was born and raised in China. She can speaks three languages; Cantonese, Mandarin and English. She attends Borough of Manhattan Community College, majoring in Business Administration and works in an accounting office as well. After graduating , she plan to transfer to Baruch College to attain her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Chundie was the Vice President for the N.Y. Tribeca Campus Lion Club in her college. In addition, she is a Young Global Leader at the J. Luce foundation where she is learning how to be a leader and hopes to be an inspiration to other young people to gain confidence. Chundie serves as a Special events and Strategic partnership Young Global Leader where she takes lead in helping with the accountancy for the Foundation. 

    Mia Lazarus:

    Mia Lazarus is a senior behaviors and community health major at the University of Maryland. She served as a Senior Young Global Leader for the James J.D. Luce Foundation and is a Global Advisor to the Foundation. As a Senior Young Global Leader she assisted everyone in the office, coordinating events and publishing stories to the Stewardship Report as well as taking part in the Foundation’s ToastMasters Club. Mia has been an active member in her local and global community where she volunteered for many community service organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Midnight Runs, Food Banks and has assisted special needs children, packing medical supplies and more. She also has traveled for disaster relief work to Alabama, Nashville, Far Rock Away, New Orleans, Haiti, and Tanzania.  She will continue helping her community through working at her University’s health center and educating her peers on domestic and sexual violence on campus. She will be obtaining her Master’s Degree in Public Health and hopes to work in the Public Heath sector with a Global Health Focus.

     Valentine Camano:

    Valentine Camano attends Borough of Manhattan Community College, majoring in Business Administration and Linguistics. With the upcoming semester, Valentine will hold a position as President for the NY Tribeca Campus Lions Club. Valentine serves as a Communications, Social Media, and Public Relations Young Global Leader to the James J.D. Luce Foundation. Valentine expanded his knowledge of Public Relations as a vital contributor to the Foundation in helping with accountancy. Valentine contributes to the Stewardship Report as a writer and also is a member of the Foundation’s ToastMasters Club. Outside of the Foundation, Valentine is part of a social media team for the United Nations at UN Women for Training Purposes and is part of the Youth Assembly at the UN. In the future, Valentine hopes to continue his education at Brooklyn College and work further with the UN.

Making It Happen

None of this happens without the dynamic leadership of Jim Luce, who started both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International Worldwide and established them on Roosevelt Island. The Lions Club International, a century old service organization where the core belief is "community is what we make it" is deeply committed to the mission.

Major funding for the event was provided by Georgia Nomikos, President of the Orpheus Luxury Collection, and members of her family.

"I believe in bringing people together," Nomikos told me. Bringing harmony to all the world's people is her passion and a commitment demanded of her Hellenic heritage.

After the awards and recognition, the crowd filling the Manhattan Theater Club was treated to dazzling entertainment from dancer Rohan Bhargava, a foundation artist in residence, and the lively music of Daisy Jopling

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