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Independent Sector (IS) is pleased to award Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year, with the 2015 John W. Gardner Leadership Award and Julieta Garibay, campaigns director of United We Dream, with the 2015 American Express NGen Leadership Award for their outstanding service and leadership in addressing some of the charitable sector’s most pressing issues. Brown and Garibay received their awards today at the conclusion of the 2015 Independent Sector National Conference, “Embark,” in Miami.

“Michael and Julieta are leaders in our community and we are excited to recognize their excellent work on behalf of the charitable sector,” said Ron Kagan, president and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society, chair of the 2015 John W. Gardner Leadership Award Committee, and a member of the IS Board of Directors. “Our sector is stronger and the work we do is made better and more impactful, because of the dedication and leadership of individuals like Michael and Julieta. We are proud and honored to support them and we wish them continued success.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected for this award,” said Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year. “The late John W. Gardner is an inspiration for so many of us and living up to his legacy is a challenge for all of us to serve the common good as best we can. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Independent Sector for their leadership in the charitable sector.”

“I am humbled and grateful to receive this year’s American Express NGen Leadership Award,”said Julieta Garibay, campaigns director of United We Dream. “I sincerely thank Independent Sector and American Express for recognizing the important work done in the charitable social sector to give millions of young immigrants a voice. I thank you for your support and look forward to continuing our work together in the years to come.”

“American Express is proud to recognize outstanding individuals, like Juileta and Michael, who are tackling important issues in their communities and helping grow nonprofits that address our most critical social needs,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, which sponsors the NGEN Award.

The John W. Gardner Leadership Award is named after John W. Gardner, the founding chair of Independent Sector. An advisor to six presidents and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Gardner was an active and distinguished participant in America’s educational, philanthropic, and political life, and his many achievements demonstrate the ideals this award celebrates.

Independent Sector’s American Express NGen Leadership Award recognizes one accomplished nonprofit or philanthropic leader age 40 or under who has already demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs. Applications for the American Express NGen Leadership Award were evaluated by a selection committee of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. The finalists submitted answers to essay questions and participated in a Twitter Town Hall to share their views on leadership, impact, and the opportunities and challenges within the sector.

2015 John W. Gardner Leadership Award Winner
Michael Brown is CEO and Co-Founder of City Year, an education-focused nonprofit organization that mobilizes idealistic young people for a year of service in high-need schools. This year 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members, serving in 27 U.S. locations, are helping to address the nation's high school dropout crisis and turn around low-performing schools by serving as full-time tutors, mentors and role models. Brown is also a past board member of Independent Sector and a trustee of America’s Promise Alliance, and currently serves on the boards of Cradles to Crayons and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is also a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers.

2015 American Express NGen Leadership Award Winner
Julieta Garibay migrated to the U.S. at the age of 12 from Mexico City with her mother and sister. In 2005, she co-founded the University Leadership Initiative (ULI) at the University of Texas- Austin, one of the first undocumented youth-led organizations in the nation. She was also a founding board member of United We Dream, the first and largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, serving in multiple other roles in the network on top of her advocacy role. She holds a Master’s degree of Science in Public Health and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Texas.
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