2012 Recipient: Carmen Green Jr.
Carmen Green Jr. is the 2012 recipient of the Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award. Currently a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, Carmen exemplifies the leadership qualities characteristic of the men and women who risk their lives in service to our country.
A 2006 graduate of Trinity College, Carmen was a trailblazing member of the college’s first Posse. He distinguished himself as a mentor to underserved elementary school students through his involvement with the Dr. Seuss Reading Program for Hartford Youth. Carmen’s uncanny ability to command attention and engage the children allowed him to truly reach his students and also inspired his fellow Trinity volunteers.
Carmen joined the Marines in 2008, inspired by the tradition of military service established by both branches of his family. Earning the rank of first lieutenant after training in Virginia and North Carolina, Carmen was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 where he distinguished himself planning the tactical communications architecture for the Regional Command Southwest. His successful work led to a prestigious transfer upon his return to help his new unit strengthen their operations, and in August 2012 he was promoted to captain. Carmen’s exceptional work with the Marines to help protect people at home and around the globe is a testament to his remarkable character and strong leadership skills.
Carmen’s military experience has given him perspective on the distinct needs of servicemen and women. As a result, he was able to provide invaluable insights to The Posse Foundation during the launch of its new Veterans Posse Program, which aims to support U.S. veterans in their pursuit of a college degree.
As a Scholar, alumnus, son, brother, husband and friend, Captain Carmen Green Jr. touches the lives of those around him—inspiring and motivating as only a true leader can.
About the Ainslie Award
When Posse was a fledgling, grassroots organization it got lucky—Michael Ainslie came into its life. In that serendipitous encounter, he recognized the potential of what Posse could eventually become. In 1994, Michael became Posse’s first board chair. Under his leadership Michael worked with staff, scholars, colleges, universities, donors, and community leaders to help Posse become what it is today— one of the most comprehensive and successful college access and youth leadership development programs in the united states.
After making certain that Posse was standing on its feet, firm, solid, established, and recognized, and after 13 years at the helm of the national board of directors, Michael stepped down.
As a tribute to his accomplishments Posse established the Ainslie Fund: a $1 million fund—in honor of Michael. The fund will permanently endow a portion of the alumni program at The Posse Foundation and institute in perpetuity, The Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award.
The Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a Posse alumna/us each year with a prize of $10,000. The prize will go to a graduate who has achieved success and given back to the world— just like Michael. Michael is the very embodiment of the values we seek in our Scholars and Posse will forever be indebted to him.
Each year, a Posse alumna/us is recognized as an honoree at Posse’s annual gala. The Ainslie Alumni Achievement is now a second phenomenal opportunity for outstanding alumni to be recognized.
Read About Previous Award Winners
Mason Richards, Vanderbilt Posse 3
The 2011 Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award winner is Mason Richards, an extraordinary Posse alumnus who received his bachelors from Vanderbilt University, a master of fine arts in film directing from the California Institute of the Arts, and went on to direct an award-winning short film, The Seawall, which premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France. Mason is a burgeoning filmmaker with a deep commitment to telling the stories that often go unheard.
Mason Richards was born in Guyana, South America. His family moved to the United States when he was 7 years old, settling in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Setting out to make The Seawall over 20 years later was the first time Mason would return to Guyana. While recognizing a deep connection to his birth country, Mason considers Brooklyn home and the place where his dream of becoming a filmmaker was born.
In 1997, Mason graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and human & organizational development. He moved to Los Angeles soon after.
In 2010, Mason earned his master’s in fine arts in film directing at the California Institute of the Arts. The following year, The Seawall was accepted into and premiered at the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival, a triumph for any filmmaker and for Mason, the culmination of a childhood dream.
Mason has worked at Paramount Pictures, as a senior producer at BlackTree Media, and has also launched his own production company, Maurva Productions. He remains actively involved with Posse and continues to give back to the organization and younger Scholars, serving as a PossePlus Retreat facilitator and volunteering as a writing coach.
Loubens Theork, Hamilton Posse 2
Loubens Theork, Hamilton Posse 2, is the 2010 recipient of the Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award. Loubens was born in Haiti and moved to Boston with his family when he was 13 years old. He and his family spoke no English, and Loubens spent his first two years of high school in its English language learning program before transitioning into regular classes. During this time, Loubens made leadership contributions not only to his high school, but to the greater community. He was a member of student government and co-founded an organization for Hyde Park’s Haitian students. During high school, Loubens also created a Haitian education access initiative using money earned through summer jobs and his allowance. Loubens distributes funds to students through the directors of Haitian primary schools, and plans to continue this initiative with help from the Ainslie Award.
Loubens’ older brothers were both Posse Scholars, and he hoped to become one, too. He said, “I always had the dream of going to college and making a powerful impact on my community and my family, but I did not have the resources. Posse gave my brothers the resources to not just get into top colleges but to succeed at them. I wanted that chance, too.” He was chosen as a member of Hamilton College’s second Posse, and in school was dubbed “Mr. President” because his fellow students recognized his profound leadership capacity. He was treasurer and secretary of the Black Student Union and co-chair of the West Indian and African Association. Loubens also served in Hamilton’s Study Buddy Group, which provides local students with tutors and mentors.
Loubens graduated from Hamilton in 2006, and is now focused on developing the necessary skills to have a long-term impact on the Haitian community in Boston and in the Republic of Haiti. He is an analyst at Fidelity Investments in Boston, an active member of the local Posse alumni network, and began the MBA program at Suffolk University in fall 2010.
Dr. Erica Spatz, Vanderbilt Posse 4
Erica Spatz, Vanderbilt Posse 4 (New York, ’97) is the 2009 recipient of the Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award. Erica was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. Very much the product of her parents Donna and Gene, both educators, Erica flourished in the city’s public school system. She attended Curtis High School, one the city’s most racially integrated schools on Staten Island’s North Shore. It was here that Erica first became engaged in the community. Recognized for her outstanding leadership, Erica was awarded a Posse Scholarship in 1993 to attend Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, where she majored in human and organizational development and completed her premedical studies. Following her experience at Vanderbilt, Erica attended medical school at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. While there, she focused her attention on global healthcare and spent part of her time working in Kenya administering care for an underserved community. Eventually Erica returned to New York City and completed her residency training in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Erica was involved with projects to provide better diabetes care to the Bronx’s large urban and immigrant population. She is currently a scholar at Yale School of Medicine in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program where she is studying health care research and policy. Erica aims to improve the quality of care in cardiovascular disease prevention amongst underserved urban populations.
Carlos Carela, Vanderbilt Posse 6
The 2008 recipient of the Ainslie Award was Carlos Carela. Carlos was a member of Vanderbilt Posse 6 and became one of the first Alumni to work on Wall Street. He worked at Bloomberg for over five years overseeing the implementation of Bloomberg’s market data platform in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, and became the treasurer of Dominicans on Wall Street (DOWS). After graduation, Carlos remained involved with Posse. He was the first president of the Posse Alumni Association, was one of the first Alumni representatives on Posse’s national board, and continues to volunteer with Posse as a mentor to many younger Scholars interested in the world of business. In 2007, Carlos founded Cava Wine Bar & Gallery as a platform for exhibiting imported Caribbean art work while inviting patrons to discover the world of Dominican cuisine and exotic Latin American beers and wines. You can visit Carlos’s Bar, Cava, at 185 W. 80th Street (between Amsterdam and Columbus).