Maya Angelou Schools Honor Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Contact: Lisa S. Rajaram
December 22, 2015
(202) 320 -9155

Maya Angelou Schools Honor

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Community Leaders, Philanthropists Gather for the Annual Maya Way Event

WASHINGTON DC- A balmy fall night was met by hues of red and orange and a myriad of student artwork that decked out the Long View Gallery to Celebrate the May Way.

It was a celebration for the ongoing work of the Maya Angelou Schools and See Forever Foundation and their supporters, which include Former Attorney General, Eric Holder. With students as ambassadors, the event featured an awards ceremony, dinner, silent auction and live entertainment.

A former scholar of the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings brought guests to tears with a captivating speech about his journey from juvenile delinquency to accomplished college junior with aspirations for a career in public policy.

Holder later recalled stories of his beginnings with the organization, tutoring youth in the detention center, after accepting the Maya Way Award for Leadership. Holder’s history with the organization dates back to the late 1990’s, when he and fellow attorney/friend, Reid Weingarten, helped lay the framework for a program to assist juvenile delinquents transitioning back into their community. It has now grown into Maya Angelou Schools, a network of alternative schools for underserved youth.

As the name suggests, the entire evening celebrated the Maya Way. Colin Johnson, grandson of Dr. Maya Angelou, introduced a tribute for his late grandmother, the namesake of the Maya Angelou Schools-whom school leaders draw inspiration from in their mission to serve an at-risk population of students.

Performer Alyson Williams, who Dr. Angelou dubbed “songbird”, closed the evening with a lively set, which included Holder joining her on stage to do the shuffle made famous by the Temptations. He even teased guests with an intro to “My Girl.”

Other notable guests included: Maya Angelou Schools co-founders James Forman, Jr. David Domenici, Jack Davies, Founder of AOL International and See Forever Foundation board member, David Grosso, DC Council Member, Cheryl Mills, Former Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton and See Forever Board member, and Herb Tillery, former D.C. Deputy Mayor and Executive Director of the D.C. College Success Foundation, for which he also received an award.

Held annually, The Maya Way Event honors community leaders and raises funds to benefit the See Forever Foundation and Maya Angelou Schools. For more information about the event please contact Leah Lamb For media inquiries contact Lisa Rajaram

Our mission is to create learning communities in lower income urban areas where all students, particularly those that have not succeeded in traditional schools, can grow academically and socially. Maya Angelou Schools provides comprehensive education in a non-traditional setting to all students including those who have not been successful in their educational experiences. We achieve this through a demanding academic program, socio emotional learning support, and tiered interventions that focus on the whole child. Our students will leave us with a foundation to be successful in their pursuit of education and careers. To learn more, please visit


Click through the gallery below to see photos!

   [nggallery id=17]