Borough President Helen Marshall addressed her Queens Youth Board and other youth Friday at York College in Jamaica during a day devoted to job skills and sexual health.
“You are our future,” Marshall told the board, which she created in 2005 so teens can organize workshops and participate in athletics.
“It’s during their teenage years that many students make decisions ... that impact their future,” Marshall said Friday.
The borough president awarded certificates to the youth board members after they held workshops on nutrition, résumé building, stress management and sex education.
Marshall noted that she is a former teacher, headed the City Council Higher Education Committee and organized a program for youth when she was in the state Assembly that helped students apply for scholarships for college.
“You have to go to college and we’re going to help you go to college and participating in this program is one avenue for you to go to college,” Marshall said. The Queens Youth Board are “our future leaders. They’re going to go to college and make their parents proud.”
Brian Davis, a coordinator of the event, said other workshops involved career building and participants were able to be tested for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
“We wanted to take a holistic approach,” said Davis, who works for the Child Center of New York, which has offices throughout Queens and Brooklyn.
Shirly Torho, another coordinator, said about 200 kids attended the York College event and the goal was to get youth acquainted with organizations in the community that can help them.
“They say they’re not aware of the resources available to them in the community,” she said.
Tariq Walters, a 20-year-old youth board member from Jamaica, said the event was a success.
“I think it went great. A lot of youth came out. We got people tested and there were a lot of workshops,” he said.
Another youth board member, 17-year-old Tiffany Blyson of Jamaica, said she received a lot of information about jobs from the workshop and is going to school to become a nurse.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2011 Community News Group
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