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Iman Childs' Story

Iman Childs of The Mary Louis Academy’s (TMLA’s) class of 2010 was awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Rome, Italy for 9 months while making a documentary as a means of communicating her research. Iman said she wanted to update TMLA because the school played such a big role in her success in college.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Iman graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Magna Cum Laude with a major in Radio/Television/Film. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which enables U.S. citizens to travel abroad for the 2014-2015 academic year, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and many other fields. Fifty-three Fulbright alumni from 12 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 78 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

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Regina Loftus' Story

Regina Loftus ’08 graduated from Providence College in 2012 with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary and Special Education. She graduated from Touro College in 2014 with a Masters Degree in Elementary and Special Education.

In 2014, Regina received a Qualities of Excellent Teaching Award in June of 2014. Out of nearly 1,000 teachers, Regina was recognized as ‘an energetic leader among her peers who works tirelessly to push every scholar to succeed beyond what they thought was possible. Her humor and ability to cultivate strong relationships with her students have made her one of the most beloved teachers in our school community.’ –Carolyn Roby, Principal of Success Academy Upper West 2013-­2014

Regina recently began her fourth year with the Success Academy Charter Network and is currently a Leadership Resident at Success Academy Harlem North Central Middle School.

Success Academy is redefining what's possible in public education. SA schools rank in the top 1% in math and top 3% in English among all New York State schools, while serving children with an overall poverty rate of 77%. Success Academy Charter Schools are dedicated to academic excellence, character development, and extracurricular achievement with college graduation as an end goal. Success believes all children can achieve at extremely high levels, and that this starts with the dedication of exceptional and diligent adults. Success is building a movement to transform public education.

Success Academy believes it is proof that great schools that be created to inspire students to believe there are no limits on what they can achieve. When a school is filled with adults who truly believe in every child's capabilities, the possibilities for these children are endless. Students in these schools have dreams of being doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, and engineers. They know these dreams are achievable because of the belief adults have instilled within them.

Regina was inspired to teach at Success Academy because she wanted to walk out of work each day knowing that she had, even in a small way, inspired change in the lives of her students, known as “scholars” in the Success Academy Network. Regina is extremely fortunate to say that this is exactly how she feels at the end of every day. She lives for the moments when she can see scholars falling in love with learning and pushing themselves to be more. Regina sees this in classrooms when scholars form and defend opinions, reflect and improve on their own work, and celebrate one another's successes. These are the times when she is most proud to work at Success Academies.

Regina loves her students and the part that she has in helping them believe in themselves. Her students' perception of what they can achieve comes from what she had communicated to them. They know that they can do anything with focus and determination. Regina’s students are constantly reminded that they are brilliant thinkers, mathematicians, readers, writers, and scientists. They know that she is with them every step of the way. Most importantly, they understand that success does not come without hard work and they are eager to accept that challenge.

The most challenging part of being a teacher was truly understanding the growth process. Regina said, “It’s easy to get bogged down in the process and want immediate results but as a teacher, you realize that the process is gradual and takes repeated, strategic practice and hard work to keep improving.” The progress her students make from September to May, both in terms of class work as well as daily interactions, is extremely rewarding.

Regina taught in Integrated Co-­‐Teaching Classrooms the past 2 years at Success, serving around one third of her class who had Individualized Education Plans as the Special Education Teacher. Walking into her classroom, however, you would not know who they were. Regina’s expectations for all of her scholars were the same – both for them and herself. Regina taught math, reading, and writing at a high level and expected them all to succeed and work hard. Each scholar rose to the occasion with the appropriate supports and interventions. In some cases, her special education students worked so hard that they eventually graduated out of their special education services.

This year Regina moved into a role as a Leadership Resident, managing teachers across the school in their own development. In this new role she is able to have a broader impact on the educational outcomes of all the students at Harlem North Central. While the transition from managing scholars to managing adults was tough at times, success still relies on striving to improve every day.

Regina is grateful for the opportunity she has had to grow and develop both personally and professionally while at Success. In four years she has gone from a brand new teacher, a Grade Team Lead, and now a Leadership Resident.

Regina credits her past principals and leaders at Sacred Heart who have, “shaped me into the educator and leader that I am today. Sacred Heart is a community that educates both the heart and the mind of their students through the values of hospitality, excellence, accountability, respect, reverence, truthfulness, and trust. I have always felt that Sacred Heart was the happiest place on Earth and I want my students and teachers to feel that same way.”

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Lillian Labbat's Story

Lillian Labbat was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and graduated Fontbonne Class of 1985. She received her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, with a focus on finance and management. Lillian always had a strong interest in international business and built her career focusing on developing countries.

Lillian is currently the Global Head of Structured Export Finance at JP Morgan. She manages a global team providing structured financings in a wide range of industries, particularly oil & gas, power, transportation and infrastructure. Financings to developing markets are supported by export credit agencies backed by OECD governments and multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank. In 2013, Lillian represented JP Morgan in receiving a Lender of the Year award, with gratitude expressed by Vice President Biden.

Prior to JP Morgan, Lillian headed an export finance business in NA at French bank, BNP Paribas. Lillian also spent 10 years at Citigroup, including the Project & Structured Trade Finance division at Salomon Smith Barney. Earlier in her career, she worked as a relationship officer at the US Export-Import Bank, a financing agency of the US Government. Lillian feels fortunate to have travelled to over 40 countries, primarily as a result of her work.

Lillian sits on the advisory board of the Private Export Funding Corp, is a committee member of the American Bankers’ Association for Foreign Trade and is a member of the Coalition for Employment through Exports. Lillian is a frequent speaker at Euromoney and related trade finance conferences and has provided numerous interviews on export financing. She is participating in charitable causes, including Cycle for Survival and the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

In her spare time, Lillian, who lives in Manhattan, can be found hiking on the west coast or finding her balance in a yoga class in NYC. Lillian is proud to say she is an alumna of Fontbonne Hall. She cherishes the education received and the values instilled by her dedicated teachers at Fontbonne.

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Katherine Chan's Story

Katherine Chan, Class of 2004, The Mary Louis Academy. In 2015 Katherine was named to FORBES Top 30 Under 30 in Finance.

Upon graduating from TMLA Katherine attended Harvard University, on a full scholarship. During her time at Harvard, Katherine was President of the Harvard Independent student newspaper while earning her A.B. in Linguistics & Mind, Brain Behavior with a double major in Human Evolutionary Biology.

Since graduation from Harvard Katherine has held positions of increasing seniority in several financial firms and in 2014 she and a friend started their own hedge fund - Anandar Capital Management. In addition to all of this, Katherine also has served as Co-Chair of the Next Generation Committee of 100 Women in Hedge Funds and serves as a member of TMLA's Mentoring Program.

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