Article by Itunu Abolarinwa – Leadership Programme Delegate 2017

On the 27th of July 2017, the SThree Foundation hosted their very first Charity Ball in support of two charities – The Aleto Foundation (formerly known as the Powerlist Foundation) and Generating Genius, and it was sensational. As part of the 2017 cohort of The Aleto Foundation’s Leadership Programme I was still on an intellectual high from partaking in the immersive three days of mentoring, workshops, and networking hosted by BT just a week prior, and was so excited to be with my Aleto Foundation family once again.

From the moment, the event started with a fabulous wine reception in the courtyard of the Brewery in Barbican, it was undeniable that it was going to be a success, from the gorgeous décor to the even more gorgeous attendees, this was set to be a night to remember. What was also special about the event, was that each young person was assigned a table to host and we were thoroughly briefed about the guests we would be networking with by Veronica Martin, CEO of the Aleto Foundation and two corporate volunteers, Malcolm Tyndall and Chetna Kapacee.

The compère for the night was the hilarious Chizzy Akudolu and it kicked off with an introduction/welcome address from Gary Elden, CEO of the SThree Group, Ken Olisa OBE, the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London and Chair of The Aleto Foundation and CEO of Generating Genius Dr Tony Sewell, CBE. Their humility and thankfulness towards those in attendance was beautiful to witness and it was great to see their passion and the pivotal role they have played towards discovering young talent and equipping them with the skills to diversify and better the future of Britain. On the night Mr Olisa also announced a change of name of the Foundation – After seven years as The ‘Powerlist Foundation’ it is now known as The Aleto Foundation – A Legacy for Tomorrow.

Both Mr Olisa and Dr Sewell went on to interview young members from both The Aleto Foundation and Generating Genius, Leanne Armitage and Marcus Nelson. Both Leanne and Marcus are clear examples of the success produced from the work of the charities with Leanne creating ‘The Leanne’s Amazing Medics programme which ‘aims to increase the number of successful medical school applicants from under-represented backgrounds’. The alumni served as a great representation of how the Aleto Foundation provides a ‘life-changing’ experience for many young people, setting the right foundation, and imparting a forward-thinking mindset that sets them up to thrive in their personal endeavours.

We also heard from special guest Eric Collins – COO of Touch Surgery in conversation with 2016 alumni Daniel Huf who was integral in the consultation of the changing of the name of the Foundation. This was followed by an amazing performance from the talented Brixton born jazz singer singer Rikette Genesis who fused jazz and soul with afrobeat.

After this, the best part of the night began – fundraising.  From Arsenal and Manchester United tickets to a trip to Jamaica and New York, the prizes up for grabs caused massive competition with the biddings for the trip to New York causing a great stir. What started off as a very calm event, turned into shouts of ‘there’s a bid over here’ in the matter of minutes. It was amazing  to see the amount being raised towards such a great cause.

The Charity Ball ended with everyone letting their hair down and loosening their ties to the sounds of Afrobeats and RnB, with the necessary addition of a dance to Candy joining together the Aleto Foundation members and those from the various companies in attendance. This alone represented something amazing ; true success, leadership and change comes from enjoyment and passion for a cause beyond yourself. In the same way people enjoyed ripping up the dance floor, that same passion was injected into building up and supporting The Aleto Foundation and Generating Genius. That same passion fuelled and created such a successful event, and in turn the donations will aid the growth of the next generation of Britain’s leaders.

To  everyone in attendance, our speakers, performers, volunteers and the SThree Foundation, I would like to say a huge thank you for Sharing Success with Tomorrow’s Leaders on behalf of my Aleto Foundation family. Find out more and see how you can support the work of the Aleto Foundation.

See you next year!!!

And until then check out these wonderful photos from the evening by two of our wonderful young volunteer photographers

Photos by Abena Appiah