The Brian Gewirtz Memorial Foundation — which celebrates the life of a late Brooklynite while carrying out his legacy and donating to the things he loved — is hosting its fourth-annual fund-raiser on June 1 to build on its mission of supporting those with mental or physical disabilities.
The public charity was established by the family of Brian Gewirtz, a Marine Park man who had special needs and tragically passed away in 2015. The do-gooder group has given back to the Boy Scouts of America, sponsored pianos for education, and sent kids with disabilities to camp — all things Brian cared deeply about.
“Brian accomplished more than most complete in a lifetime, but Brian had much more to give with both his talents and gifts,” wrote his family and friends on the website.
The Gewirtz family also dedicates educational awards and scholarships in Brian’s name at his alma mater, James Madison High School.
Families living with special needs in the Marine Park community have felt the positive impact of Gewirtz’s legacy.
“Thank you for having the courage and strength to get up at graduation and give out these awards,” Nancy Vera wrote on the foundation’s website about her children who live with disabilities. “By giving the award to James Vera last year, you helped give confidence to both of my children, on multiple occasions. Your entire family is inspirational.”
So save the date to contribute to Brian’s legacy and celebrate his life on June 1, which would have been his 25th birthday.
Brian Gewirtz Memorial Foundation Fund-raiser Luncheon and Card Party at Knights of Columbus Council 126 [3051 Nostrand Ave. between Quentin Road and Stuart Street in Marine Park, (646) 239–1693, www.bgmfo
— Natallie Rocha
A dream come true
Three cheers for Kingsborough Community College, which earned Achieving the Dream’s newest recognition for achieving higher student outcomes and narrowing equity gaps: the designation Leader College of Distinction. Kingsborough was one of 11 community colleges nationwide to earn the accolade, and the only one in New York State. The college earned Leader College distinction in 2015.
Achieving the Dream leads a national network of more than 220 community colleges championing evidence-based improvements to help community-college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for families, communities, and the nation as a whole.
Participating colleges focus on seven essential areas: leadership and vision; data and technology; equity; teaching and learning; engagement and communication; strategy and planning; and policies and practices.
“The college as a whole has embraced ATD’s principles. Subcommittees of faculty, staff, and students have been gathering and analyzing data to develop new strategies aimed at strengthening and promoting more equitable outcomes,” noted Kingsborough Community College President Claudia Schrader.
Kingsborough has focused on overcoming opportunity gaps by identifying barriers that are nearly always outside the student’s control, including race, English proficiency, and family or community wealth.
“The metrics ATD established for Leader College of Distinction are meant to encourage colleges to sustain aggressive efforts that result in far greater student success and equity,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and chief executive officer of Achieving the Dream. “The honor recognizes Network colleges that have stayed focused on the change process and seen real improvements in student achievement across the institution.” Only colleges that have been Leader Colleges for three or more years were invited to apply.