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Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs
Inkandescent Public Relations
Phone: (703) 346-6975

Featured guests include keynote speaker and author of “The Pursuit of Happyness” Chris Gardner, Blackboard Inc. CEO Michael Chasen, Alper Family Foundation’s President Patty Alper, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Washington DC, April 15, 2010 — Mark your calendar for April 28 when the Washington, DC office of the national nonprofit organization the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com) hosts its annual Dare to Dream Gala at 6-10 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in DC (www.daretodreamdc.org).

This year’s event will honor several well-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists including Blackboard Inc. President and CEO Michael Chasen, Alper Family Foundation’s President Patty Alper, and the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The keynote speaker will be Chris Gardner, the self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and philanthropist who, during the early 1980s, struggled with homelessness while raising his toddler son, Christopher, Jr. Gardner’s book of memoirs, The Pursuit of Happyness, was published in May 2006 and later that year became an internationally acclaimed motion picture starring Will Smith.

“We are thrilled to be honoring all of these wonderful business leaders who are incredible role models for the students we serve in our program,” says Julie Kantor, executive director for Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Greater Washington. “Each of the honorees has succeeded, despite the odds, and has the qualities that we hope all of our NFTE grads will embody as they launch their own firms, organizations, and ideas.”

Honoring students and teachers

Also being honored at the gala is Jada Nicome of Northwestern High School, who won the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s 2010 Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for her company, K-9 Couture.

Six other students are also being recognized for winning the 2010 Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Greater Washington’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the companies they created:

• Kyle Calavetinos, Parkdale High School: C-6
• Nina Maniphak, Gar-Field High School: Plum Porcupine Photography
• Justin Mitchell, Bladensburg High School: Akketie
• Kenneth Peters Jr., Duke Ellington School of the Arts High School: KenE’s Production
• Andre Robinson, Gar-Field High School: Klassic Kernels
• Jasmine Pearl Taylor, Woodrow Wilson Senior High School: Pearl’s Bakery

Teacher honorees for 2010 include:

• National NFTE Teacher of the Year: Mary Ellen McCormick, TC Williams High School
• NFTE-Greater Washington Regional Teacher of the Year: Beverly Jackson, Northwestern High School
• NFTE-Greater Washington Rookie Teacher of the Year: Emily Heuber, Columbia Heights Education Center, Bell Multicultural Senior High School

Making it all possible

The chairwoman for the 2010 gala is Cynthia de Lorenzi, founder and president of the popular women’s networking group Success in the City (www.successinthecity.org). Gala vice chairs include Mark Ein of Venturehouse Group, Sunny Scully Alsup of LSG Inc., Bill Dean of M.C. Dean Inc., and Tien Wong of Opus Inc.

For details about the Dare to Dream Gala, and to buy tickets to the event, visit www.daretodreamdc.org.

About NFTE-Greater Washington

Since 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com) has provided entrepreneurial education programs to more than 280,000 youths in 21 states and 12 countries. Its mission is to work with young people from low-income communities to show them that entrepreneurship is a pathway to prosperity.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Greater Washington is currently working with 800 students in 17 schools, and since 1994 has served more than 21,000 students in the region.

For more information about the program and the annual business plan competition, contact Julie Kantor, executive director of NFTE’s DC program, at Julie.Kantor@nfte.com.