Each November, Bay Scholars’ annual luncheon, dubbed GiveThanks by Giving Back, gives us something to be grateful for: sharing an epic Thanksgiving feast with the Bay Area’s next generation of brilliant minds. (And the people who support them.)
Among the latter? California Governor Gavin Newsom, who engaged in a fascinating onstage discussion with the Nob Hill Gazette’s Janet Reilly, and flashed his famed pearly whites (Joe Biden who?) for photos with Bay Scholars students.
The organization — founded by Gazette co-owner Clint Reilly, and led with verve by its effervescent executive director, Caitlin Curran Kavanagh— financially supports low-income students through a Catholic college-preparatory high school education, and has awarded more than $5 million in scholarships to date.
The warm, inviting affair brought all the best parts of high school to the Julia Morgan Ballroom.
The marching band from Archbishop Riordan High School performed, as did the Moreau Catholic Rally Squad and the Sacred Heart Cathedral Honors Choir. A student from Junipero Serra High School, who is part of the Bay Scholars program, belted out the national anthem beautifully, and artwork from St. Joseph Notre Dame students was on display.
Touching personal reflections from students in the program were a high point of the afternoon, including those of Jade Johnson, Mikey El-Badry and Maria Escalera.
(Do we think Governor Gavin Newsom was voted Most Likely to Become President in high school?)
The event saw supporters from all over the city: Danielle Glynn, Joy McGowan, Charles Moses, Dennis O’Brien, Brian Cahill, Farah Makras, B.J. Cassin, John Sobrato, Clara Shayevich, Navid Armstrong, George and Judy Marcus, Sallie Huntting, Hooman Khalili and countless others.