On behalf of the Board of Neway Works and our staff, welcome to the inaugural Let Your Light Shine Charity Gala!
We are thrilled to celebrate this evening of impact, philanthropy, and people who help advance it in our local community. Whether you are here as a sponsor, awardee, donor, or a special guest, we are honored to have you with us.
What makes this evening more special is November 24, 2022, marks our 2-year anniversary as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Established during one of the darkest time our country has faced, the global COVID-19 pandemic, our purpose of being a light for teens mental health and wellness continues to flicker throughout Macomb County.
As a nonprofit that is focused on humanity, we are honored to recognize individuals that have big hearts for community and philanthropy. Please do join us in celebrating the inspiring 2022 Let Your Light Shine honorees with the Better Together award.
I want to personally thank our sponsors and committee members who have made this evening possible through their generosity and continued support. Your sponsorship and commitment to being a difference maker is deeply meaningful!
I want to also thank Roop Raj and Taryn Asher of FOX 2 Detroit for serving as our celebrity Master of Ceremonies, our guests, and volunteers.
While we made great strides these past two years, there is much more work left to be done and lives to positively impact.
With your support, we will advance our mission of helping more children step into their purpose, achieve academic success, and transform into self-efficient, educated, employable, and productive adults in society, leaving no child behind.
Founder & President
Neway Works, Inc. was established during one of the darkest times our country has ever faced, the global COVID-19 pandemic with a purpose of being a light for vulnerable teens mental health and wellness via safe after-school youth enrichment, tutoring, and mentoring services.
Youth from under-resourced communities benefit from opportunities to connect with tutors, mentors, explore their interests, and to develop skills and confidence to realize their full potential and to positively impact their families, communities, and society.
With a keen understanding of the urgency and impact of wellness for children, a key area of focus has been mental health. We are not alone in our commitment to children and mental health, which has been formative in many new partnerships.
We actively work with key partners to understand, discuss, and bring awareness to the growing need and concerns about the stigma surrounding mental illness. We continue to bring our partners in education, healthcare, research, and community together to further the discussion with a path of action that removes fear and starts the conversation.
Since 2020, we have improved the overall wellness and mental health of over 30 underprivileged adolescents through our after-school youth mentoring program, Project Transformation.
The problem, some advocates say, is not that the more than half of all American children who live in poverty have the wrong mindset, the problem is that more than half of all American children live in poverty.
Funding will help us continue targeting obstacles that hinder at-risk students from doing well in school and preparing for a successful and meaningful life. There is often a disconnect between expectations the school places on the students and the support and resources available to these students.
Money raised from this fundraiser will be utilized to help with tutoring and mentoring expenses, school supplies, nutritional meals, beverages, costs for sport camps and showcases through organizations such as Legacy Sports in Brighton, Michigan, sport apparel needed to compete for college athletic scholarships, STEM camp costs, and needed program supplies such as paper, pencils, calculators, paper plates, plasticware, cups, and napkins.
Hi there, I am the 5 p.m. anchor at FOX 2 News.
My career started at age 14 when I produced and hosted my own television program in Troy, Mich. In my first two years at Michigan State University, I was on the air at the CBS & ABC stations in Lansing, Mich.
I was then hired to anchor the news in Flint, Mich. where I did news and weather for four years. That was followed by seven years at NBC in New Orleans. After 24 hurricanes including Katrina, I moved to Detroit in ‘09 where an economic storm was brewing. I am an ardent believer in the city’s future.
FOX 2 led the way during the 2020 elections, bringing you more exclusives than any other station in town. I was proud to have nailed down three exclusives, one on one interviews with then candidate Joe Biden. I also secured three, one on one exclusives with former President Trump. My final interview landed me in the Rose Garden with a one on one with Trump for 15 minutes at the White House. Election Day was exciting. After getting access to candidate Kamala Harris in Detroit, I decided to call the White House and ask if former VP Pence would be game for a phone interview. He called my cell phone minutes later, capping off an extraordinary political season.
I believe getting exclusives is about building relationships with people. I am committed to continuing this connection with our community so that we can bring you stories you won’t see anywhere else.
I am also a public speaking coach and keynote speaker. At TEDxDetroit in 2019, I headlined with my talk highlighting the gifts of rejection.
I live with my wife, Julie, and our boxer pup Louise. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, traveling, and reading. I hate wearing winter caps, but I love a good baseball cap on the weekends as we hack around parks throughout the area.
My parents live down the road and I am so happy they can watch me on TV every night. There’s nothing like coming home.
Mashell Carissimi is the CEO and founder of JMC Electrical Contractor, LLC, a 100% woman-owned union electrical contracting firm providing commercial, industrial, and institutional electrical services.
JMC was awarded listing on the INC. 500 as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the nation in 2015. A native of Michigan, Mashell holds a Bachelor of Administration, majoring in accounting, and two MBA’s, one in industrial management and the other in human resource management.
Mashell is currently serving as President of the National Association of Women in Construction, Detroit Chapter, and is on the Board of the Macomb County Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, JMC is a member of the National Electrical Contractors Association of Southeast Michigan where Mashell serves on the Labor Management Cooperation Committee and is the first female member of their Board. Mashell was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Electrical Administrative Board and is serving a four-year term.
Mashell was the recipient of the 2014 NAWBO Top Ten “Up and Coming” Award, winner of the 2014 NAWBO Greater Detroit Member of the Year, a winner of the 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year Award, and the 2016 Macomb County Athena Award.
For nearly 45 years, Lisa and Rosario Esposito built a life and business centered on service. Service to one another as husband and wife. Service to their customers with innovative Fencing products which defined an industry and service to their community. Driven by faith and the belief that everyone deserves dignity, Lisa and Rosario were proud to give second chances through employment as well as charitable giving. Through their business, Royal Aluminum and Steel, they built a thriving business. While they employed skilled labor, they also sponsored employees returning to society through work release. Rosario would also pick up employees to bring them to work, including doing so for six years. Rosario would work with at-risk adults, training and reskilling them to build fences and sharing his eagerness for them to get a fresh start through honest work and a living wage.
An immigrant, Rosario knew the power of hard work and integrity. As a young man, he came to the United States penniless. He embodied the American dream. With his wife Lisa by his side, the two built a family, a business and a legacy. Both shared a passion for helping children and young adults rise out of poverty, which is why Royal Aluminum’s philanthropic efforts have always been in service to underprivileged youth.
While Rosario passed away in September of this year, his work, dedication and giving heart live on through Royal Aluminum and his wife, Lisa – who continues the business, as well as Royal’s philanthropic mission: To help. To serve. To honor.
Rancilio & Associates is a family-owned business. Because we all share the same commitment and dedication to hard work, we are confident that we will reach the goals set for our company: continue to provide the best possible service for our long-term clients and continue to fulfill a need in the legal community, perpetuating our business for years to come.
Len Rancilio, Sr. started our company almost 40 years ago with the belief that if you hire good people with good character, you can teach them the rest. Since day one, he has treated all of his employees like part of the family and inspired us to extend that feeling to our clients. At Rancilio, we believe there is “always room for one more!” at the table. As we continue to grow and expand our services, that belief will remain constant…we will always keep the “family feel.”
“In everything we do, we will continue to honor my father’s philosophy – we should be good people doing good work.” – Len Sr.