Members of the NGLA Class of 2017-18 at the Character of Champions Gala. Photo: M. Morales

Members of the NGLA Class of 2017-18 at the Character of Champions Gala.

Photo: M. Morales

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Members of the Next Gen Leadership Academy, which includes thirty-five young men from four states across the mid-Atlantic region and every member of the instructional staff, were also recognized for their efforts and dedication to completing their first year at the school together.

“These 35 young men took a huge leap of faith with us last September,” said Samuel Gough, Principal of the Next Gen Leadership Academy. “To see how far they have come since then is a testament to their hard work, determination and support of their parents throughout the school year.”

Graham Abercrombie, Director of Next Gen USA’s Girls’ Program, presented a series of Youth Leadership Awards to Norah Mosley and Gabrielle Ricci for their stewardship of Next Gen USA’s first all-Girls’ Select Squad Team which traveled to the United Kingdom earlier this spring to play exhibitions against top clubs.

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"There was such a positive atmosphere in the room, with everyone genuinely committing their time and support of the Next Gen vision. With so many good people behind us, we believe there will be very good times ahead of us," said Jeff Bookman, Next Gen USA's Co-Founder and Technical Director.

Character of Champions Impact Award presentations were made to Richard Portogallo, Managing Director and Head of Institutional Clients and Equities at Morgan Stanley, and to Vincent I. Tizzio, President and CEO of Navigators Insurance, for their personal dedication and support of Next Gen USA and the Next Gen Leadership Academy.

Vincent I. Tizzio and members of his family prior to the Gala Banquet at The Madison. Photo: M. Morales

Vincent I. Tizzio and members of his family prior to the Gala Banquet at The Madison. Photo: M. Morales

Tony Williams poses with Richard Portogallo, recipient of the 2017 Next Gen USA Character of Champions Impact Award. Photo: M. Morales

Tony Williams poses with Richard Portogallo, recipient of the 2017 Next Gen USA Character of Champions Impact Award. Photo: M. Morales

“Rich and Vince are dynamic, passionate leaders of Fortune 100 companies,” said Williams during his introductory remarks. “We learn from them everyday and are delighted to honor them and their families as the inaugural recipients of the Impact Awards.”

Hank Steinbrecher, former Secretary General of U.S. Soccer and a member of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame, delivered an enthralling address as Keynote Speaker about “lessons learned” from his lengthy career in the game and emphasized the importance of developing character above all else.  He shared how his whole life has been dedicated to “getting the kid right” and that ultimately, “you are what you accept.”  

Next Gen USA would like to acknowledge the generous support of its donors and corporate partners, all of whom united together to help underwrite the expenses associated with the Gala, and raise funds for the Next Gen USA Scholarship Fund, which makes grants and other resources available to qualified student-athletes to participate in the Next Gen Leadership Academy.

Character of Champions BANQUET GALA Celebration of excellence

“If you get the kid right, the entire world will be right.”

Next Gen USA’s inaugural Character of Champions Banquet Gala, presented by Navigators Insurance, was a tremendous success and a night to remember.  Over 230 guests attended the affair which was held at The Madison in Riverside, N.J. on Friday, June 9.

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“We are honored to highlight the academic, athletic and leadership achievements of Next Gen USA’s pioneers in the presence of their friends, families and supporters,” said Tony Williams, Co-Founder and President. 

Bridgette Barbera-Byrne, who served as emcee and conducted the Banquet auction, delivered opening remarks and kept the program moving with eloquence and humor.

Following Mr. Williams' opening remarks, Character of Champions Leadership Awards were presented to (13) outstanding boys and girls from New Jersey and New York who exemplify excellence, commitment and leadership on and off the pitch. 

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Next Gen USA would like to acknowledge the generous support of our corporate and individual donors, all of whom contributed time, resources and other gifts to underwrite the 2017 Character of Champions Gala Banquet. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

Next Gen USA would like to acknowledge the generous support of our corporate and individual donors, all of whom contributed time, resources and other gifts to underwrite the 2017 Character of Champions Gala Banquet. Thank you, thank you, thank you!