May 28, 2023

Hot! Get Tickets to the Eighth Annual Night Of Opportunity Gala

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The Opportunity Network’s Eighth Annual Night Of Opportunity To Honor Narciso Rodriguez, Deloitte’s Cathy Engelbert and Vista Equity Partners’ Robert F. Smith

On Monday, April 13th, The Opportunity Network, a New York City nonprofit that puts high-achieving, low-income students on the road to top colleges and successful careers, will host their eighth annual Night of Opportunity at Cipriani Wall Street in New York (55 Wall Street). This year’s gala will honor designer Narciso Rodriguez, Deloitte LLP Chief Executive Officer Cathy Engelbert and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners Robert F. Smith. Last year, The Opportunity Network honored actors Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz and raised $1.3 million, with this year’s gala aiming to raise over $1.7 million for the organization.


Jessica Pliska, founder and CEO of The Opportunity Network said, “It is a privilege to be able to honor three leaders who are opening doors to opportunity for so many. Cathy Engelbert is redefining what a Big Four CEO looks like as the first woman to lead Deloitte US. Robert Smith has made Vista Equity Partners a firm that looks beyond resumes to hire talented, ambitious employees who don’t fit the traditional mold. Narciso Rodriguez is a role model for our students–the first generation son of Cuban immigrants–who today is the designer of choice for other great role models from Jessica Alba to Michelle Obama.”


Founded in 2003 by Brian Weinstein and Jessica Pliska, The Opportunity Network prepares students for college, introduces them to career opportunities, facilitates paid summer internships, trains students in professional etiquette and teaches them how to build networks. One hundred percent of these students graduate from college, compared with only ten percent of low-income students nationwide. Within six months of graduation, eighty-five percent are admitted to graduate school or find professional employment.


The evening will be highlighted by speeches from students who have benefited from the program as well as remarks from the honorees. Each honoree was chosen not only for their commitment to The Opportunity Network but to the role they play mentoring young people and creating platforms for others to succeed.


Throughout the night, guests will have the chance to pledge support that goes directly to summer opportunities for Opportunity Network students. Each summer, all of the organization’s students participate in skill-building internships, academic research and fellowships or study abroad programs. Many of these summer experiences are unpaid, which traditionally excludes low-income students from participating. By raising these critical scholarship stipends through the gala’s pledge drive, The Opportunity Network is able to provide low-income students the funds needed to participate in high quality summer programs that can lead to college and career success.


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