Usher’s New Look Foundation celebrated 24 years with a private mixer in Atlanta. Held at Nobu Atlanta, the event allowed the Grammy Award-winning singer to thank his supporters, donors, and students who have matriculated through his program over the years.
Usher’s New Look is a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of under-resourced youth through a comprehensive program which develops passion-driven, global leaders. Founded in 1999 by Usher Raymond IV and his mother Jonetta Patton, who were inspired after witnessing the dire narratives of Atlanta teens in a courtroom. As a result, UNL was created to tackle systemic barriers that prevent teens from graduating from high school and college.
“We’ve come here time and time again and we we’ve accomplished a lot during 24 years of this successful philanthropic effort,” Usher said during the event. “That truly started as a spark for me. My spark was to sit in the spark for young men and women to be able to prepare them as future leaders. And we’ve done it. So thank you for your presence. Thank you for this opportunity to be able to celebrate with those who have been there and also to get acquainted with those who are now a part of the journey.”
Usher spoke directly to several of the students who came into his program as youth and are now successful in their respective fields. One former student of the New Look Foundation, Tony Betton, Jr., is now a successful TV anchor in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“You stand on the shoulders of giants,” Usher said. “These giants that have succeeded right here before me. You guys really are the heroes that we talk about as we try to ignite those sparks at the Disruptivator Summit. This work is significant and I’m able to look at you and see my philanthropic efforts. We’ve had the opportunity to spread our wings far beyond even my comprehension and that’s the beautiful part.”
Usher concluded with words of encouragement for the students who were assisted by the New Look Foundation and sharing why it’s important to help the next generation.
“The beautiful part about when you do find a spark, the universe will assist you,” Usher said. “It will find its way to do things that she didn’t even imagine you could be able to turn into if you just allow it to happen. It actually comes from a place that truly is passionate based, and truly is something that is about helping other people.”
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