May 24, 2017
Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC
2017 National Dreams to Success Award Recipients
Scholarship America is proud to present the 2017 National Dreams to Success Awards to three organizations dedicated to student success: The Wells Fargo Veterans Scholarship & Emergency Grant Program, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
Wells Fargo Veterans Scholarship & Emergency Grant Program
The Wells Fargo Veterans Scholarship Program and Emergency Grant Program are needs-based scholarships and grants, which will help veterans and spouses of veterans with disabilities obtain education or training necessary to successfully integrate back into civilian life.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Since the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ began awarding scholarships in 1957, nearly 17,000 scholarships have been awarded. Currently, more than 2,400 students are on Show scholarships, attending more than 80 different Texas colleges and universities.
Through its scholarship programs, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation provides financial assistance to qualified individuals who desire to learn a skill that is in demand. The Foundation has been instrumental in encouraging trade school education across the country.
At the event, we will also be recognizing the 15th anniversary of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, established within weeks of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Managed since its inception by Scholarship America, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund has provided $135 million to more than 3,100 financially needy students who lost a family member in the attacks and rescue efforts.
The 2017 National Dreams to Success Awards welcome honorary co-chairs Katie Couric and Rod Martin.
Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist and TV personality, well-known cancer advocate, documentary film producer and New York Times best-selling author.
In November 2013, Couric joined Yahoo as Global Anchor, where she develops Yahoo News’ coverage, reports on live events, and anchors groundbreaking interviews with major newsmakers. Previously, Couric spent 15 years as co-anchor of NBC’s Today show, and, at CBS, became the first female solo anchor of an evening news broadcast.
She is the founding donor of the Scholarship America Dream Award, donating the proceeds from her book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives, to help create the program. Her interviews and podcast can be found at katiecouric.com.
Rodney O. Martin, Jr. is chairman and CEO of Voya Financial. In this role, Martin is responsible for the overall strategy and performance of the organization.
A veteran of the insurance and financial services industry with more than 37 years of high-profile experience, Martin joined the company in 2011. He began his insurance career in 1975 as an agent with Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, where he served over 20 years in various marketing and general management positions, ultimately becoming president of Connecticut Mutual Insurance Services.
In 1995, Martin joined American General Life Companies as president and chief executive officer where he ran the U.S. life insurance businesses until it was acquired by American International Group, Inc. (AIG) in 2001. Over the next decade, he held positions of increasing responsibility until coming to ING (now Voya).
Martin received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., and is also a Fellow, Life Underwriter Training Council.
Master of Ceremonies
We welcome Master of Ceremonies Wes Moore to the 2017 National Dreams to Success Awards.
Wes is a decorated Army combat veteran, youth advocate and CEO of BridgeEDU, a national initiative focusing on addressing the college completion and career placement crisis by reinventing the freshman year of college. He is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Other Wes Moore and The Work.
Wes graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College, and received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University. He completed an MLitt from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004. Upon graduation, Wes served as a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, serving in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division.
Wes was also the host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network and the executive producer and host of Coming Back with Wes Moore, which follows veterans as they reintegrate back into society. In September, Wes executive produced the PBS documentary All the Difference, which follows two African-American teens from the South Side of Chicago on their journey to achieve their dream of graduating from college.