Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 | The Glasshouse, 660 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

Join us as we celebrate the power of service and education to ignite change and light the way for a more just and equitable world. 

5:30 PM Cocktail and Dinner | 7:00 PM Program and Entertainment

Business/Cocktail Attire

Entertainment By

Season 18 American Idol Winner

Samantha “Just Sam” Diaz

‘We’re so excited for Samantha “Just Sam” Diaz to illuminate the buildOn Gala stage! Samantha Diaz, known by their stage name Just Sam, is a singer-songwriter from Harlem, New York who rose to fame after winning the eighteenth season of the singing reality show American Idol.

Just Sam auditioned for the eighteenth season of the singing reality show American Idol in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 2019. After surviving Hollywood Week and making it into the Top 5, Just Sam received the most votes to win, and on May 17, 2020, Just Sam was crowned the winner of the eighteenth season of American Idol, beating runner-up Arthur Gunn. Just Sam was also the first African American winner since Candice Glover in season twelve and the show’s revival on ABC.


David C. Banks is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education and the founder and former principal of the Eagle Academy for Young Men. David is a lifelong New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, and proud graduate of New York City public schools. He is also a longtime buildOn supporter and former board member. David’s vision of education emphasizes a partnership between schools and communities based on the guiding principles of academic excellence, leadership, and character development.


Sponsor buildOn's 2023 Gala

Your gift to the buildOn Gala supports our mission to break the cycle of poverty, Illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. We ignite local and global communities to build economic opportunity, increase civic engagement, and help people gain the skills and confidence to shape their own lives. Through our U.S. Service-Learning Programs and Global school-building education programs, we are building a brighter future.


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Thank You to Our Gala Sponsors


Have a question about the event?

Please contact Jon Mucciolo, Development Director at jon.mucciolo@buildon.org for additional information about attending or sponsoring this event.