CEO of Edelman and Manhattan teen honored at the Junior Achievement of New York Leadership Awards Gala

(PR NewsChannel) / November 27, 2017 / NEW YORK 

A Manhattan student has 10,000 reasons to give thanks this holiday season. On Tuesday, November 14, Usman Ghani, a senior at High School of Economics and Finance in Manhattan, received the $10,000 Manuel H. and Claire Barron Student of the Year Scholarship Award to support his college dreams at the 2017 Junior Achievement of New York Leadership Awards Gala at Gotham Hall. Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, a leading communications marketing firm and longtime partner of JA New York, was also honored with the 2017 Leadership Award for his contributions and dedication to Junior Achievement of New York.

More than 350 business leaders and professionals gathered to celebrate Mr. Ghani and Mr. Edelman and to raise funds to support the delivery of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness programs to more than 85,000 K-12 students in New York City, Long Island and Lower Hudson Valley. The evening’s event raised $700,000 to support Junior Achievement programs.

The Manuel H. and Claire Barron Scholarship Fund is awarded each year to a high performing JA student in support of his/her post-secondary education. The Student of the Year Scholarship honoree distinguishes him/herself as an active and self-directed learner in Junior Achievement programs. Applicants go through a rigorous and competitive selection process to win the award. Successful candidates must exemplify the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • Be an exceptional model of a Junior Achievement scholar
  • Is enrolled in 12th grade during 2017-18 school year
  • Shows interest in developing entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy skills
  • Exhibits strong leadership skills and commitment to serving the community
  • Has a 3.0 GPA or greater

Usman aspires to become a financial consultant one day, and he has a deep interest in every aspect of business, as well as creative endeavors such as creative writing. At the gala, Usman stated, “JA has made it clear through a well-rounded curriculum that it is vital to educate the youth of America today about what their future can look like tomorrow. Junior Achievement has given me the opportunity to recognize that my future is in my own hands, and I am prepared.”

Joseph A. Peri, President of JA New York, spoke about what made Usman stand out from his peers as a candidate for the Student of the Year scholarship award. “Usman is a remarkable young man and works hard every day to enhance his skill set in order to realize his future goal of a career in finance. We believe in Usman – in his intelligence, his integrity and his ambition – and know that he’s well on his way to achieving his life goals. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for his future.”

Upon receiving the Leadership Award, Mr. Edelman gave a passionate speech, which detailed his work at Edelman, a family company, and gave unique insight to the circumstances that brought his family to the United States.

All event proceeds will be used to recruit, train and deploy business and community volunteer mentor resources to deliver JA programs in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness programs to high-need schools and community organizations in the New York City, Long Island and Lower Hudson Valley.

More about Usman, JA New York’s 2017 Student of the Year Schol

–         Video link:

Junior Achievement of New York Student of the Year, Usman Ghani (center), with JA Student Ambassadors: Nicole Hernandez; Franklin Saeteros; Gerald Urena; Leianna Joseph; Yeda Dayao; Brianna Serna; Jahnia Cherenfant; Kimberly Patino and Dechayob De with Gavin O’Connor, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Junior Achievement of New York; Honoree Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman and Junior Achievement of New York President Joseph Peri.

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Junior Achievement of New York is the local affiliate of Junior Achievement USA, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. We recruit, train, and mobilize more than 6,600 corporate and community volunteers to provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students knowledge and skills in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness. Today, JA New York delivers more than 85,000 student experiences per year to 275 NYC, Long Island and Lower Hudson Valley public schools. Visit for more information.


Rebecca Rosenbaum
Phone: 212-907-0027

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SOURCE:  Junior Achievement of New York

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