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Meet our three 2021 honorees and champions of educational equity in New York, who will be recognized at our Virtual Gala on Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET.


Richard Stopol

Retiring CEO, NYC Outward Bound Schools

For 33 years, Richard Stopol has led NYC Outward Bound Schools, which brings Outward Bound’s transformative approach to teaching and learning to New York City students and their public schools. He is the longest serving Outward Bound leader in the country.

As President & CEO of NYC Outward Bound Schools since its inception, Richard has grown the organization from a start-up operating a few outdoor programs to one that now operates a growing, five-borough network of 13 public schools in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. Through its school network and the programs it delivers to schools outside of its network, NYC Outward Bound Schools is bringing its unique blend of demanding academics, community and character to students and educators throughout the City. During Richard’s tenure, the organization has served more than 200,000 students from more than 300 of the City’s public schools, and currently reaches 18,000 students annually.

Over the years, Richard has been a thought-partner for multiple Outward Bound entities, including EL Education, and has welcomed many Outward Bound International counterparts interested in urban and school-based programming to study NYC Outward Bound Schools as a model of excellence. In 2018, Richard was honored with Outward Bound USA’s Kurt Hahn Award, which is the organization’s highest honor and presented annually to a person who exemplifies outstanding service to Outward Bound’s mission to change lives through challenge and discovery, and create a more resilient and compassionate world.

Prior to his time with NYC Outward Bound Schools, Richard was a Program Director at the Fund for the City of New York, specializing in issues affecting children and youth, particularly in the areas of child welfare and education. An attorney, he began his career working at the Legal Aid Society.

Richard is a prolific writer and has written extensively and powerfully about Outward Bound and its innovative and effective approach to teaching and learning, with several of his letters to the editor published in The New York Times and in a book titled “Education the Outward Bound Way.”

Richard holds a J.D. degree from New York University’s School of Law and is a summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo. Born in Brooklyn and a product of the City’s public schools, he now lives in Manhattan with his wife Carolyn. In addition to his passion for NYC Outward Bound Schools, he loves sports, politics, hiking and family.


Dr. Lester Young,  Jr.

Chancellor, New York Board of Regents
Recipient of our 2021 Educational Leadership Award

Lester W. Young, Jr. has made creating opportunities “where every student can be successful” the guiding principle of his more than 50 years of public service.

He began his career with the New York City Department of Education, holding positions as: Teacher, Guidance Counselor, Supervisor of Special Education and Principal. During his tenure as Principal, PS 183 Brooklyn (Ocean-Hill Brownsville), was recognized as a School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) in 1987. Dr. Young also served as Assistant and Associate Commissioner with the NYSED (1988- 1993) and led the department’s efforts in NYC. Dr. Young’s portfolio included state-wide leadership responsibility for the Offices of School Improvement, Community Schools, Bilingual Education, and Migrant Services and Education.

In 1993, returning to his Brooklyn roots, Dr. Young was appointed to the position of Community Superintendent, CSD 13.  As Superintendent, Dr. Young is credited for establishing two successful and highly sought-after schools (Benjamin Banneker Academy HS and Bedford Academy HS) as well as replicating the nationally recognized Algebra Project and Comer School Development Program. In 2000, Chancellor Harold Levy appointed Dr. Young to serve as Senior Superintendent (coordinating services in four Central Brooklyn Community School Districts).  He also established and led the first N.Y.C. Office of Youth Development and School Community Services. In 2004, after 35 years of NYC public school service, Lester W. Young, Jr. retired from the NYCDOE. During the period 2004 – 2008 Dr. Young held the position of Visiting Professor at Long Island University, Graduate School of Education, Brooklyn Campus.

In March 2008 Lester W. Young, Jr. was appointed by the New York State Legislature as Regent At Large, The University of the State of New York and in April 2020 was appointed by the NYS Legislature to a fourth term as Regent At Large.  At the January 2021 Board of Regents meeting, Dr. Young was unanimously elected by his peers to be Chancellor effective January 12, 2021.  Dr. Young co-chairs the P-12 Education Committee and the Regents Workgroup on Early Learning and Early Childhood Education; he chairs the Regents Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color. His leadership in this area led to the establishment of the NYS My Brother’s Keeper initiative and under the leadership of the NYS Legislature, New York State remains the only state in the nation to have the My Brother’s Keeper initiative enacted into NYS law.

Continuing his commitment to public service, in 2014 Dr. Young was appointed to the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. Additionally, he is a Trustee for the Adelaide L. Sanford Institute (ASI); and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Board. During his career Dr. Young has also been a Trustee on many not-for-profit boards serving the Brooklyn community (the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., and the Brooklyn Community Foundation).

Dr. Young volunteers as a mentor to superintendents, principals and aspiring leaders throughout New York City.  He has been recognized by many local, national education, and civic education organizations for his professional contributions.

Dr. Young is profiled in Men of Courage II, documenting the lives and achievements of 27 African American Men. He is also a contributing writer to Child by Child: The Comer Process for Change in Education, 1999. Dr. Young is married to Dr. Renee Young and they are the proud parents of one son.  Dr. Young received his Doctoral Degree in Education (Ed.D.) from Fordham University, specializing in Urban Education and Human Development; and the Master of Science Degree (M.S.) from Brooklyn College.


Hon. Mark Treyger

NYC Councilmember, Chair of the Committee on Education
Recipient of our 2021 Expeditioner’s Award

Mark Treyger is the Council Member for the 47th District, representing the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, and Sea Gate.

The second child of Ukrainian immigrants Naum and Tatyana and the first member of his family born in the United States,  Mark Treyger is a fluent speaker of the Russian language and a graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School and Brooklyn College (B.A. in Political Science, M.A. in Social Studies Education, M.S. in School Leadership). Treyger spent eight years teaching World History, Government, and Economics at New Utrecht High School. While teaching, he took an active role in the United Federation of Teachers, serving as a union delegate, staff developer, and member of the school Leadership Team.

With a love for public service, Treyger began interning for Assemblyman William Colton in 2001. In 2003, at the age of 21, Treyger became the youngest president ever of the United Progressive Democratic Club (UPDC) in Bensonhurst.

In 2013, Treyger won a competitive Democratic Primary, and then received 71% of the vote in the general election to become the Council Member of the 47th District. Upon his election, he worked with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on the creation of a new committee, Recovery and Resiliency, which he chaired during the 2014-17 session, helping to oversee the city’s efforts responding to Hurricane Sandy. He also co-chaired the Council’s Brooklyn Delegation. Since his election to the Council, Treyger has led the fight to make our city more resilient and environmentally conscious in the face of climate change and extreme weather threats, helping to secure federal funding to rebuild public housing and hospitals after Sandy. He also successfully advocated for the expansion of transportation options throughout the outer boroughs, investment in the maintenance and upkeep of public housing, and the upgrading and expansion of our school buildings.

In 2016, Treyger was also elected as the Democratic District Leader/State Commiteeman in the 46th Assembly District.

Treyger was selected to serve as the chairperson of the City Council’s Committee on Education in 2018.

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