Gracious God, who teaches us to be kind to everyone, since everyone is made in your image: We ask your blessing on our precious time together tonight in support of Neighborhood Youth Association. In deep gratitude, we lift up all our scholarship winners; the four-year college-bound class of 2023, Khayla, Noelia, Anthony, Emily, and Janelly; our astonishing board and benefactors; and the food and fellowship that nourish us tonight. Building brighter futures is always the work of family and community. No one succeeds without support and love from someone else. By your grace, the NYA family has performed this miracle for thousands. In your name, God of all, on our annual NYA day, we thank you for your commandment to love and your example of love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— My prayer at last night’s NYA awards event at The Parish of St. Matthew – The Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades. The photo shows NYA’s 2023 cohort, all children of immigrants, all headed to four-year colleges in the fall.