2017 Benefit Spotlight Honorees

The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC) will enter into its tenth year of collaboration with the Hunts Point Shakespeare Ensemble. The Ensemble brings together fourth, fifth and sixth graders from community schools in the Hunts Point neighborhood.  The students spend an entire year exploring, researching, and performing one Shakespeare play. The collaborative work between the Shakespeare Society and HPAC is of particular importance in a community such as Hunts Point, where general academic performance is far below national standards. Students who participate in the program are better prepared for future academic and creative pursuits and lose any potential “fear” of Shakespeare or other classical texts. In 2016-17, the Ensemble is working on Shakespeare’s most powerful, recognizable tragedy, Romeo & Juliet.



The Kenyon Review and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children have created an incredible partnership through the participation of Hunts Point Scholars in the Kenyon Young Writers Workshop over the past six years. We both believe that education is the pathway to success. At Kenyon College, students participate in intensive writing workshops, where they read and write for several hours per day, develop several pieces of writing to share in the classroom, and then share one piece in front of more than 100 members of the program. Including the 2017 summer’s attendees, the Kenyon Review Young Writers Program has invited forty-eight Hunts Point students to participate in their famed student writing workshop and have the opportunity to see themselves on a college campus.



Judithann Thayer, Education Counselor

Judithann works with HPAC’s High School Scholars to provide support through their transition to college. She guides both Scholars and families through the college application process, including essays and identifying scholarships, the financial aid process, and also helps families review their financial aid packages.

Before joining HPAC, Judithann spent seven years at the St. Ignatius School in Hunts Point, where she was a founding member of the St. Ignatius Girls Program.

Judithann graduated from The University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Education and a minor in Natural Science. Judithann has previously sat on the Board of Trustees for HPAC, School of the Holy Child, and served on the Advisory Board at St. Ignatius School.