Our Lady of Mercy launches $1.2M leadership institute

November 09, 2018 05:48 PM

As Paul Speranza and his late wife Cheryl traveled the world, they noticed there aren't enough women, especially women of color, in high leadership positions.  

On Friday, he said the $1.2 million gift to Our Lady of Mercy will create once in a lifetime opportunities for young women by giving them the tools they need to succeed in school and beyond.   

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The money will create the Cheryl Speranza Leadership Institute that will benefit all Mercy High School students. 

Funding will be available for 11 emerging leaders from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, was the keynote speaker at Friday's announcement.  

She says this gift is one of the many ways her father's legacy is being carried on, and is important for creating an equitable and just society.   

"It is essential that, if we are going to have that kind of world, that women be in these places of leadership. As Paul said, the higher places of leadership, not just being represented ya know," said Dr. Bernice King. "That's diversity but inclusion in terms of having a voice and the respect of being included in the decision making and the outcome."

The inaugural program will kick off in the fall of 2019.

The institute will be led by a program chair and a youth advocate.  

For more about the institute or the open positions, click here. 


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