New Leaders Announces 2019-20 Roberts Award Winners

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New Leaders, in partnership with national board member Linnea Roberts, is pleased to announce that 11 New Leaders alumni-led schools will receive grants to support innovative, student-centered programming through the Roberts Award for School Innovation.

Roberts Awards are grants of up to $25,000 that support student enrichment projects in schools served by alumni of the New Leaders Aspiring Principals or Emerging Leaders programs.

The Roberts Award honors the work of New Leaders alumni by helping them provide their students with exposure to activities and resources that will build their cultural capital, encourage their curiosity, and spark their imagination and ingenuity via learning experiences that take place outside of the traditional classroom setting. By addressing disparities in the extracurricular opportunities available to students across the country, the Roberts Award supports New Leaders alumni to  truly prepare their students for whatever path they choose to pursue in life.

“We continue to be so grateful to Linnea and George Roberts for their generous support of the Roberts Award,” said Elizabeth Zimmerman, Senior Executive Director of Alumni Engagement. “Through these awards, we are able to support and sustain our alumni as they continue to invest in ever-more innovative and impactful real-world learning experiences for students that inspire and fuel their most audacious dreams for themselves and our world.”

This year’s Roberts Awards-winning projects will provide students with a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Many will support STEM programming, including music engineering, coding, animation, 3D design and printing, robotics, and AR/VR. Other projects will provide students with opportunities to explore their passions and career options through service learning, apprenticeships, and trade pathways. Still others will bring yoga and play-based learning into schools. And there are a number of projects that will help students engage more deeply with their civics and science classroom learning through trips to Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and the Point Reyes National Seashore, among other locations.  

This year’s awardees include school leaders in six cities: Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Memphis, TN; New York, NY; San Diego, CA; and Richmond, CA.

A full list of awardees is below:

  • Ryan Belville, McAuliffe Elementary School (Chicago, IL)
  • Molly Conner, Harlem Park Elementary Middle School (Chicago, IL)
  • Kerry Dolan, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy (Chicago, IL)
  • Jacob Gran, Richmond High School (Richmond, CA)
  • Fernando Kim, Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy (Chicago, IL)
  • Matsuo Marti, Civitas Community Impact Experience (Chicago, IL)
  • Frederick Mohrien, Winget Park Elementary School (Charlotte, NC)
  • Archie Moss, Jr., Bruce Elementary School (Memphis, TN)
  • Khalid Oluewu, Daniel Webster Elementary School (Chicago, IL)
  • Maylen Rafuls, San Ysidro High School (San Diego, CA)
  • Michael Windram, Mott Haven Academy Charter School (Bronx, NY)

For additional information and background, please see the Roberts Award webpage.


To equip students with real choices in life and build schools that reflect our hopes and dreams for the future, we need determined, unwavering school leaders committed to the truth that every student can excel. New Leaders forges deep partnerships to equip school leaders at all levels to be powerful and positive forces for change. We provide best-in-class leadership training that ensures schools are set up to provide all students with challenging, engaging learning experiences in every classroom, every day, year after year. To date, we have developed 4,000 leaders who annually reach more than half a million students in communities across the country. To support even more students and communities, we champion evidence-based policies that reflect the transformative power of exceptional school leaders and that break down structural and institutional barriers to student achievement and educational equity. By transforming our schools, we’ll transform our society.