High School for Leadership Students Receive Awards from Prudential California Realty; Students...

High School for Leadership Students Receive Awards from Prudential California Realty; Students Were Eyewitnesses to World Trade Center Attack


NEWARK, N.J.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–June 25, 2003–More than 50 new graduates of The High School for Leadership & Public Service who were first-hand witnesses to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center each received a $1,000 Leadership Award today, it was announced by Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) and Prudential California Realty.

“I am so proud of the children who participated in our Leadership Program. They have worked hard, they have remained focused and they have been true to their goals, despite the trauma and grief caused by the attack on the World Trade Center and the disruption it caused to their daily lives and sense of security,” said Kathy Ollerton, who owns Prudential California Realty (Northern) with her husband, Ed Krafchow.

The awards were presented today to 57 college-bound graduates at a special ceremony immediately following their graduation from The High School for Leadership & Public Service, which is located near Ground Zero in New York City. It is one of three high schools within blocks of the World Trade Center that had to be evacuated for several weeks after the attack. The emotional trauma the students felt by the attack and its aftermath as well as the impact the tragedy had on them was tremendous.

“The program helped me a lot because my coach was very persistent, pushing me even more than my mother did. Even when he was annoying, I loved it. The program definitely got my mind off 9/11. I’m not healed yet, but 9/11 is not a major focus point in my life anymore,” said Lisa Henriquez, a grant recipient who will attend Lehman College.

Jennifer Lopez, another grant recipient, said, “My mentor called me almost every day and helped me stay on top of everything that needed to be completed.” Jennifer will attend Syracuse University.

Leadership grant recipient Maxie Silkes, who will attend Bard College, added that the program helped her continue to heal after 9/11 by keeping her focused on school. “It kept me on track. My mentor made sure that I did what I was supposed to do,” she said.

After the September 11 attack, Ollerton created a non-profit organization called The World Transformation Center (WTC) that specializes in helping children recover from traumatic and catastrophic events. She gathered a group of 30 volunteers – most of them sales professionals with Prudential California Realty (Northern) – who took courses in crisis/grief counseling and leadership. Together, the group adopted The High School for Leadership and Public Service to serve as coaches to students there.

During the 2002-2003 academic year, the coaches made three trips to New York City, at their own expense, to offer the seniors at the school a Leadership Program that included three full-day training sessions on team building, money management, personal responsibility, accountability, and goal setting. In addition, in weekly telephone calls and e-mails with the students, the coaches provided life skills assistance, general tutoring, and mentoring.

To remain in the program, the students had to be in contact with their coach at least once a week, attend all three training sessions, stay in school and graduate on time in June 2003, and be accepted into a program of higher education. The coaches raised all the funds for the Leadership Grants.

The World Transformation Center is a non-profit organization comprised of trained business professionals specializing in crisis transformation. It is dedicated to healing and transforming people after a tragedy through a systematic coaching process that empowers those affected by tragedy. By incorporating successful business skills with specialized training and certification, WTC volunteers are able to assess individual or group needs and develop a coaching program unique to the circumstance. The training is duplicatable and adaptable for any situation and all age groups and walks of life.

The High School for Leadership & Public Service builds leadership skills in its students by encouraging their participation in various civic and municipal activities. It has a partnership relationship with Syracuse University, which provides interns who serve as administrators of public service projects and internships for the high school students. The school promotes higher education and instills the principles of leadership and public service into its students who use these tools to contribute to society.

Prudential Financial companies, with approximately $550 billion in total assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2003, serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, property and casualty insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement related services and administration, asset management, securities brokerage, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises and relocation services. For more information, visit http://www.prudential.com.




Karen Oliver Howell


Cell: 201/314-0252

High School for Leadership Students Receive Awards from Prudential California Realty; Students Were Eyewitnesses to World Trade Center Attack