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Detective Keith L Williams Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, April 16, 2009

Queens Recreation Honors Rising Stars


Queens Parks honored four young recreation center members as recipients of the first Rising Star Award. Nyema Brown, Jonathan Douglas, Katherine Rocha, and Obafemi Alese were saluted as shining examples of today’s youth. The four leaders received the awards in recognition of their commitment to their communities and for dedicating at least two years to a program in a Queens Recreation Center. Throughout the year, the recipients will speak with Queens Afterschool and summer day camp kids and discuss the necessary steps needed to be chosen and the benefits of being a Rising Star. Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said, “I am impressed by the talent of these four Rising Stars and the commitment that our Queens Recreation staff has made towards their development. It is wonderful to see children from our centers become the strong leaders of tomorrow. It is truly an honor for our Parks staff to be a part of their success.”

Nyema Brown joined Detective Keith Williams (DKW) Community Center when she was seven years old. She is now a senior at John Bowne High School, where her major is Agricultural Studies. Through the Learning Garden Program sponsored by the City Parks Foundation, Nyema earned an internship to work as Assistant Gardener at Liberty Park, adjacent to the center. Nyema interacted with the children and became a role model where she taught them how to plant and care for plant life and explained the importance of preserving our environment. Nyema was nominated by Angela Elie, Center Manager of DKW.

Jonathan Douglas has been a member at the Lost Battalion Hall since he was seven years old. Jonathan is now 17 years old and captain of the Newtown High School basketball team, the Newtown Pioneers. Jonathan motivates his teammates and encourages them to never give up. His leadership qualities and approachable demeanor on and off the court sets a positive example for his team. Jonathan has been accepted to a college located in Utica, where he looks forward to majoring in physical education. Jonathan was nominated by Playground Associate Rick Diaz.

Katherine Rocha joined the Sorrentino Recreation Center at the age of ten. It was there that Katherine learned about double dutch. Today, she is a first year college student at Brooklyn College and continues to be part of the Sorrentino’s Pepper Steppers. Katherine is a role model to the children at Sorrentino and to those that she comes in contact with through her double dutch performances. Katherine is majoring in physical education and would like to pursue a career where she can work with children with disabilities. Katherine was nominated by Bernard Robinson, Center Manager for Sorrentino Recreation Center.

Obafemi Alese’s parents enrolled him in the Sorrentino Recreation Center Afterschool program when he was eight. His father recalls how Obafemi enjoyed seeing the classroom and especially liked the computers. Obafemi is now 17 years old and is an avid basketball player at Sorrentino and a senior honors student at Frederick Douglas High School. Obafemi has been accepted to St. John’s University, and he is eagerly and patiently waiting to hear from Cornell University. He plans to become a lawyer. Obafemi was nominated by Teen Coordinator Robert Lindo.

Written by Susan Friedman-Diaz

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

“Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.”

Henry J. Kaiser

(1882 – 1967)

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