The Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation (MJYF) is celebrating 20 years of service and dedication to guiding and coaching young people from metropolitan Atlanta to become ethical leaders. To salute this milestone, MJYF will host a gala highlighting the work of the Foundation and the accomplishment of the MJYF Leadership Academy’s graduates, while remembering the Maynard Jackson legacy.

Ignite! 2012 will be held on Friday, Aug. 24, at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, with an incredible group of community leaders convening to ensure the success of this first major event for MJFY and the first public event to pay tribute to the legacy of Maynard Jackson sinc

e his death in 2003. Honorary chairpersons for Ignite! 2012 include Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed; Shirley Franklin and Andrew Young, former mayors of Atlanta; and Alexis Herman, former U. S. Secretary of Labor.

Founded in 1992 by the late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation has helped train hundreds of young people from across metropolitan Atlanta to become leaders for tomorrow. MJYF has positively impacted the lives of youth through its signature program, the MJYF Leadership Academy. High School students learn the skills and principles of leadership, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, community service, and how to prepare for their continued education and careers while participating in the Leadership Academy.

The Ignite! 2012 evening will commence with an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in the Rich Theater of the Woodruff Arts Center, recognizing MJYF scholars and other individuals who have demonstrated leadership, vision, and commitment to their communities. Honorees include Shirley Franklin, former Atlanta mayor, and CEO & chairman of the board of Purpose Built Communities; Charles Brewer, founder and managing partner, Las Catalinas; Rosa Arnold, founder and CEO of the Albert T. Mills Center; and Joey Reiman, thinker, founder and CEO of BrightHouse, a global consultancy.

Following the awards ceremony, guests will move into the High Museum at 7:30 p.m. to be treated to exciting and memorable entertainment with food and drink. The featured performance for the evening will be B. o. B. (Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr), an American rapper, singer-songwriter and record producer, whose music has consistently topped the Billboard charts in the U.S. and the U.K. DJ Mars, a household name on the DJ scene and founder of the world famous Superfriends Crew, will also be on hand to entertain.

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