Leaders on Leadership Breakfast

November 17, 2022

November 3rd marked a momentous occasion for B.E.S.T. with the return of our annual Leaders on Leadership Breakfast at The Center Club. The B.E.S.T. community gathered for a special morning to celebrate our upper students through empowering messages of leadership while highlighting the generous support from our distinguished funders, Heads of School, Community Trustees, Alumni and friends of B.E.S.T.

Our honored speakers, Cinneah El-Amin ’12, Friends School of Baltimore and B.E.S.T. Alumna, Technical Product Manager for PayPal and Founder of Flynanced; and Niles R. Ford, PhD, Chief of Baltimore City Fire Department, shared important messages of strength and persistence in the face of adversity, highlighting their careers and the strategies they used to carve their own unique path to personal success and fulfillment. Cinneah used the word “LEAD” to anchor her charge to students in a memorable and thoughtful way that inspired, affirmed and empowered students. As she shared her personal journey, her message was Listen to your inner voice to uncover your vision, Excel even when it’s not expected of you, Aim and focus by staying steadfast to what’s important to you, and Do the things that other people aren’t doing by filling in value where there are gaps. Rooted in these principals, Cinneah developed Flynanced — an online personal finance platform that empowers women to earn more, build wealth and make travel a financial priority.

Chief Ford shared the twists and turns throughout his journey that taught him valuable life lessons every step of the way. From working at Chuck E. Cheese to being a high school band director, each experience brought new triumphs and challenges. He reminded students that when things aren’t going well and you are faced with what feels like a devastating circumstance, “your setbacks will be your setups,” as each one will prepare you to meet your next challenge with strength and resilience. His wisdom around building and strengthening relationships was framed through the encouragement to surround oneself with people and friends who will both celebrate your successes with you, but also hold you accountable. He continued by sharing that if you expand your circle of friends to include people who are not like you, you will experience a deeper level of personal growth. His parting words was a charge for students to “Dream real big! If you can see the invisible, you can do the impossible.”

A special thank you to our other speakers Karlo Young, B.E.S.T. Board President; Christian Donovan, Head of Friends School of Baltimore and B.E.S.T. Trustee; and Diane Hutchins, B.E.S.T. Trustee and Roland Park Country School Distinguished Alumna. As we usher in our 35th Anniversary as an organization, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate and honor our mission and its impact on our students and Alumni. Thank you to our funders, partners and friends for your continued support and joining us for this extraordinary morning together.