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What BETTER Looks Like Gala 2016 Award Recipients

By Staff on February 29, 2016 in Events



Eddie Bergman

“Together we can make a difference.”

Eddie is a man of entrepreneurial spirit and vision. He is Co-Founder and Board President of Miracle Corners of the World, an NGO devoted to empowering youth in Africa to become positive agents of change; Goodwill Ambassador for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development; Co-CEO of E&E Hospitality Group NYC; Adjunct Lecturer,
Stony Brook University; and has received several humanitarian awards for his work including the 2009 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, CSJ

“It’s about…education…leading people to a better place.”

Committed, fearless and outspoken, Sister Tesa Fitzgerald founded Hour Children in 1989 to offer incarcerated women and their children a chance for a fresh start. Nicknamed “The Sister of Second Chances” by The New York Times, her work has earned her the CNN Hero Award (2012); White House Champion of Change (2013); Opus Prize (2014); and Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontiface (2015).


Vaughn L. McKoy, JD, MBA

“To change your life you must change your thinking.”

As a young man growing up in Paterson, NJ, Vaughn strove for athletic excellence−encouraged by coaches whose teachings were never solely about the game. Former Rutgers University football standout and Assistant United States Attorney, Vaughn is currently Managing Director and Vice President-Legal at PSEG Long Island. He is passionate about the power of mentoring. Vaughn is the author of Playing Up: One Man’s Rise from Public Housing to Public Service through Mentorship.


Jessica Greer Morris & Ashley Marinaccio

“If a girl can change her own life, she can change the lives of girls everywhere.”

Jessica and Ashley teamed up and ‘Girl Be Heard’ began to empower and give girls a mighty voice. Jessica was named one of Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women who “shake up the world;” received SELF Magazine’s Women Doing Good Award; and was writer/star of a NY Times-acclaimed one-woman show. Ashley ‘s work has received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, Ebony and more. Both women have produced theatrical work for the UN, TED Women, and the White House.


Ali Stroker

“Make your limitations your opportunities.”

The compelling GLEE & GLEE PROJECT star made history as the first actress in a wheelchair to appear on a Broadway stage as Anna in Spring Awakening. Ali achieved a Barrymore Award nomination and performed at the Kennedy Center in D.C., NYC’s Town Hall and Lincoln Center. This dauntless and spirited woman is also an ardent humanitarian. Ali is a co-chair of Women Who Care which supports United Cerebral Palsy of NYC, and she is a founding member of Be More Heroic, a nation-wide anti-bullying campaign. Ali also holds theatre workshops in South Africa with ‘artsINSIDEOUT’ for women and children affected by HIV and AIDS.

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