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The Home for Little Wanderers Honors its Own
Well-known educator recognized for remembering his roots
BOSTON — The Home for Little Wanderers announced today that former Brockton resident Gregory T. Ricks will be honored at the child and family services agency’s 2008 Voices & Visions Gala. On May 28, Mr. Ricks along with two other alumni, will be recognized for their fulfilling professional and personal lives after getting their start at The Home.
Gregory Ricks admits that he does not remember very much from his life at The Home since he was only two when he was adopted, but attributes whatever it was like to putting him on the path that he has always felt grateful for because it allowed him to follow his dreams.
After becoming the Associate Dean and Director of the Afro-American Institute at Northeastern University in 1972, Ricks had several students who were participating in the university’s Co-Op Program with The Home for Little Wanderers. "I kept hearing about The Home and would come by from time-to-time. Sometimes I’d just sit across the street and think about coming from here and what my life would have been, what my life was like, and how grateful I was," said Ricks, who has been the Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Education at the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut since 2006. "I always had a family of love and support and always felt very special. I felt that I was adopted, not just by my mom and dad, but also by all of their brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, all of my cousins and everyone. I was celebrated by my family because I was chosen."
"Greg is a leader in our community who recognizes the importance of investing in our children’s futures," said Joan Wallace-Benjamin, President and CEO of The Home for Little for Little Wanderers. "For over thirty years, Greg’s commitment to education and equality has opened the doors for many aspiring minds."
Ricks earned an undergraduate degree in economics and government from Hampton University, a master’s degree in city planning from MIT, and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. At Northeastern University, at the age of only 23, he became the youngest major college dean in America. When he first arrived on campus, there were approximately 700 African American students at the university and by 1976 the numbers had risen to 1,000. Ricks also went on to serve as an academic dean at Dartmouth College and Stanford University before returning home to Boston to serve as a Vice President of City Year National. As a result of his role with City Year, Former President Bill Clinton recruited Ricks to be the first dean of the Clinton Democracy Fellowship in South Africa (2002-2005) and he was later recruited to be on Oprah Winfrey’s staff to establish a leadership program for girls in Africa (2005-2006). Gregory Ricks is an advocate for equal opportunity who has traveled the world to meet with community leaders, including Nelson Mandela, to ensure the doors to opportunity remain open for those who wish to pursue their dreams.
About Voices & VisionsVoices & Visions is The Home for Little Wanderers signature fundraising event. The 2007 gala raised $1,000,000 to support our programs. This unique event is the culmination of a year-long arts project throughout our many programs and features art work by some of our youngest children. The theme of the 2008 event, to be held at the Seaport World Trade Center is Animals in Their Habitat.