NEW YORK — Two “Boro Boys” — Millard “Mickey” Drexler and Lew Frankfort — are reaching out to their fellow boro brothers and sisters to raise money for TeachForAmerica.
This story first appeared in the May 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Co-chairs of the organization’s dinner gala this year on Wednesday at the Waldorf-Astoria here, the two so far have raised $4.6 million, and are hoping to surpass the $5 million mark. The dinner will honor Joel I. Klein, chief executive officer of the educational division of News Corp. and the former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.
Drexler, ceo and chairman of J. Crew Group Inc., and Frankfort, ceo and chairman of Coach Inc., are both products of the New York City public school system. Drexler is a graduate of P.S. 76 and Bronx Science H.S., while Frankfort is a graduate of DeWitt Clinton H.S.
The two teamed up as a way of giving back to the school system. Their outreach, “Boro Boys and Girls,” has been to successful and influential alumni of city public schools in a broad spectrum of industries.
Of his desire to get involved in TeachForAmerica, Drexler said he was looking for “something where I might help and make a difference and start to give back to the community. In my mind, the best place to start is always with kids because that’s our future.…The right mission and the right leadership can make a difference.” Drexler also said he’d like to become a board member of the organization, should the opportunity come up.
Frankfort has been on the TeachForAmerica board for six years.
“Reducing educational inequality is a passion of mine my entire life,” said Frankfort, who noted that the organization’s mission statement is to eliminate educational inequality in America.
Prior to joining Coach, Frankfort spent 10 years in government, with most of that time as commissioner of the city’s Agency for Child Development. According to Frankfort, “Education is a means to create opportunities so young people can live the American dream.”
TeachForAmerica also sponsors training and coaching programs for individuals who make a two-year teaching commitment to work in low-income communities.