B.E.S.T. Leaders on Leadership Breakfast

November 2, 2023

On Thursday, November 2nd, B.E.S.T. hosted our annual Leaders on Leadership Breakfast at The Center Club in Baltimore. This joyous occasion was celebrated by over 200 distinguished guests including funders, Community Trustees, Heads of School, friends of B.E.S.T., and most importantly – B.E.S.T. Upper School students and Alumni.

This year’s Honored Speakers included B.E.S.T. Alumna, Aniya Martin ’18 and Head of School at St. Paul’s School for Boys, Dr. Ed Trusty, Jr., who shared heartfelt and inspiring messages of strength, vulnerability, and perseverance. Aniya shared memorable moments throughout her time at The Bryn Mawr School to frame what leadership means to her and how her definition of what makes a great leader was developed and honed over time through direct experiences of learning, hardship, and growth. She notes a pivotal moment engaging with Dr. Freeman Hrabowski at B.E.S.T.’s Leadership Breakfast in 2017 when she was a senior. Then President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Dr. Hrabowski challenged the students in the room to solve a complex math problem during his speech. Aniya’s persistence and follow-through with Dr. Hrabowski opened doors to her college acceptance at UMBC while also earning a coveted spot in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program. Among these connections of mentorship, and striving to achieve one’s personal, academic, and professional goals, Aniya shared the importance of rest and self-care as a means for reenergizing and reaffirming one’s passion and commitment. She left our students with the important message to “lead from the front or lead from the back” – but to lead.

Dr. Trusty’s long-standing relationship with B.E.S.T. culminated in a poignant moment as he took to the podium to share his remarks. As the founding Director of the B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars program in 1996, Dr. Trusty shared how his involvement with the program had a profound and lasting impact on his educational philosophy and professional pursuits thereafter. Having grown up in East Baltimore, attending Roland Park Elementary/ Middle Public School and then Gilman School, Ed’s commitment to serving and honoring his community continued to resonate in his professional pursuits as he served in leadership positions at Calvert School, Gilman School and as an Interim School Head in Texas. In July of 2020, Dr. Trusty found his way home to Maryland where he now serves as the first African American Head of School among B.E.S.T Member Schools and leads St. Paul’s School for Boys. Dr. Trusty opened his remarks by encouraging the adults in the room to give a round of applause in honor of our shared students stating, “you are seen, loved and cared for by everyone in this room.” Moments later the adult guests were asked to look at each student at their table and state, “You Are Enough.” These impactful moments set the tone for the heartfelt and encouraging words Ed shared. He encouraged students to be the best versions of themselves, stating, “dream big dreams, ostentatious dreams and write them down so it manifests them into your future. Dream your dreams, not someone else’s or those that have been put on you by others.” Self-reflection and being rooted in the support of family, faith, friends, and community was another important reminder that Dr. Trusty shared as he encouraged students to, “remember the ways you belong and feel part of your community. You are making history, and your community is benefitting from your presence.”

Board President Karlo Young concluded the morning with his own reflection of growing up in East Baltimore, and like Ed, attending Roland Park Elementary/Middle before matriculating to Gilman School. Karlo encouraged students to think critically about their life as it relates to Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and how the ways in which you focus on leading or lagging indicators can drastically shape your future. And he reinforced the importance of relationships, mentorship and giving back.

A heartfelt thank you to B.E.S.T. Trustees Sue Sadler, Head of The Bryn Mawr School, and Ereni Malfa, Head of St. Paul’s School for Girls, for introducing our Honored Speakers and making the morning that much more special. The time spent with one another served as a critical reminder that the relationships being built now and in the future matter, and through resilience and perseverance one can thrive and achieve their dreams with the love and support of community. Thank you to our partners, funders, and friends for being thoughtful and impactful members of the B.E.S.T. community.

Karlo Young, B.E.S.T. Board President; Jessica Suriano, B.E.S.T. Executive Director; Aniya Martin’ 18 Honored Alumna Speaker; Dr. Edward M. Trusty, Jr. Honored Speaker

B.E.S.T. Trustee Emeritus, Stuart O. Simms with Heads of School Ereni Malfa, St. Paul’s School for Girls, and Dr. Ed Trusty, St. Paul’s School for Boys

Honored Speaker, Dr. Edward M. Trusty, Jr.

Honored Alumna Speaker, Aniya Martin ’18

Park School of Baltimore Faculty, Traci Wright with B.E.S.T. Trustee Emeritus, Theo Rodgers

B.E.S.T. Alumni