Sometimes the best things can be found in your own backyard. That’s exactly what Dallas CASA’s 10th Annual Cherish The Children Luncheon Chair Shonn Brown discovered for the Wednesday, April 5th luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel.
For its keynote speaker, Shonn announced it will be Dallas native Casey Gerald, who overcame a “harrowing childhood in Oak Cliff to receive degrees from Yale University and Harvard Business School.”
Like many success stories, his accomplishments were due to his parents. But they weren’t the role models that other folks serve in their children’s lives, unless it was what not to become. His mother, who suffered from mental illness, disappeared from Casey’s life when he was 12. As for his dad, he was a drug addict. What helped Casey take a different fork in the road was “his community, who surrounded him with support.”
Thanks to excelling at high school football and that community support, he earned a BA in political science from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
But what launched him to internet fame was his 2014 Harvard commencement speech that went viral.
Just two years later, his TED talk “There be no miracles here” once again catapulted him into internet fame with more than 1M views.
According to columnist Anand Giriharadas, “Casey has lived the breathtaking fullness of America. He is a real-life Forrest Gump — oh, and he’s not yet 30. His sonorous voice, on the page and the stage, will be a bugle call for his generation, and for the rest of us.”
Also on the “Cherish the Children” program will be the inaugural Caroline Rose Hunt Cherish the Children Award, which will be presented to the National Council of Jewish Women, Great Dallas Section. Named after longtime philanthropist and Dallas CASA Children’s Council member Caroline Rose Hunt, the award was established to recognize “an individual or organization for outstanding contributions helping children who have been removed from home for abuse or severe neglect.”
Tickets are now available starting at $175, but those tickets are limited.
* Graphic provided by Dallas CASA ** Photo credit: Joao Canziani