Campus News

Inaugural Be a Maverick Benefit Raises More Than $1 Million
Rachel Freeman


On May 1 the Nueva community galloped together to raise more than $1 million for student financial assistance at the Be a Maverick Benefit, held virtually over YouTube Live for more than 300 registrants. This year’s event focused on the four C’s of what makes a Maverick—creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, and changemaking. Attendees had the option to choose one of three virtual pre-parties: improvisational theater (representing creativity), cocktail-making (representing curiosity), and a trivia contest (representing critical thinking).

After the pre-parties, everyone gathered for the main event—being a changemaker by supporting financial assistance at Nueva. 

“This special event also served as a phenomenal community-building activity by bringing together so many who share the goal of increasing access and opportunity at Nueva,” said Head of School Lee Fertig.

The evening also featured a video profile of alumna Mickey Shiloh ’06, who shared how her Nueva education and the financial awards she received made it possible for her to blaze her own trail in the music industry. As a songwriter, recording artist, and CEO of a game-changing record label, Mickey has worked with some of the world’s most notable musicians, including Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. 

“My time at Nueva is actually 100 percent of the reason I’m an entrepreneur,” she said. “My creativity was nurtured daily, and there were never any limitations to the kinds of projects we could do. Knowing that I can change the world, it’s only because that was instilled in me by the teachers.”

It’s students like Mickey that inspired Victoria Osman and Maribeth Portz to serve as event co-chairs for this year’s Be a Maverick benefit. 

"Thank you to the Nueva community for your remarkable support of this year's benefit,” Victoria said in a post-event thank you video. “Our success in raising $1 million-plus for financial assistance reflects our values in education—providing opportunity and belonging. Learning by caring continues at Nueva!"

“I feel honored to be part of such a giving community,” Maribeth added. “Thank you to all Nueva families who did their part to ensure that we continue to offer a special educational opportunity to all qualified students. The Be a Maverick Benefit made an impact on our community, and I look forward to this event, which celebrates the Maverick spirit, making an impact for years to come.”

In addition to raising critical funds for financial assistance, Director of Development Joe Cheeseman said, “It was a fun-filled evening for the entire community. The camaraderie was felt from the improv games, good-natured trivia competition, and cocktail-making fun, all the way through the chat comments cheering on the bidders.

Sixth grade writing and eighth grade humanities associate teacher Michelle Greenberg may have summed the event up best. 

“What an incredible Saturday evening,” she said. “The benefit was such a spot-on example of the best of Nueva. Thank you for a wonderful evening of humor and doing good. Seeing the generosity of this community on full display is no surprise, but it certainly doesn't lessen how deeply it touches me. I'm grateful that it is a priority to bring diverse groups of students to our school—it enriches all our learning, and the benefit underscored this value.”

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