Our mission is to create opportunities for unrecognized, talented youth. 

John Calley was born into poverty and raised by a single mother during the Great Depression. He worked at a button factory as a child and as a janitor at his own high school, where he graduated near the bottom of his class.  After graduation, he worked at an ink factory and did two tours in the army before getting a temporary job as a mail clerk at NBC.  A combination of hard work, creative ingenuity, and good luck allowed him to work his way up from the mailroom to become a three-time Hollywood studio head.

While John’s story aligned neatly with the traditional narrative of the American Dream, in today’s America “the mailroom” has become proverbial. Today, the possibility of upward mobility is much more limited.  This is something we would like to change. Young people with good ideas and talent should have opportunities to realize their full potential.  

While there are many scholarships in place that reward students for academic achievement, academic success is not necessarily a predictor of success in life or capacity for success.  Our goal is to identify those who are exceptional in other ways, those whose gifts may not be so easily measured.  

By recognizing and rewarding all forms of personal excellence, we seek to support and inspire a new generation of leaders in arts, business, and the community.