Program inspires LI kids to use the arts to deal with life’s challenges | Verizon FiOS1 News – Long Island


Thank you 2016 workshop

Click on link below for News Coverage

Program inspires LI kids to use the arts to deal with life’s challenges | Verizon FiOS1 News – Long Island

 

youtime4liny.org 2016

What 21st Century Youth Are Thinking – Get Set Mindset Participants. See Workshop Slide Show Below 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2016-07-09 ytfce self empowering workshop www.yourtime4liny.org

Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. Self-Empowering Workshop and Community Networking Soiree 2016

Slide Show

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

See More Empowering Moments Captured by Cameras of Caring Attendees and Volunteers.  We are Thankful for their Help 

2016-07-09 yourtime4liny.orgCollege Student Presenter Mr. Mel Aarons

Lincoln University Student Presenter, Scholarship Recepient, Mr. Mel Aarons

Marie Saint-Cyr  yourtime4liny.org

Ms. Marie Saint-Cyr, F.I.T. Student and YTFCE Peer Leader

2016-07-09 Marie Saint-Cyr yourtime4liny.org

Ms. Marie Saint-Cyr, takes participants on an exciting Study Abroad Journey

2016-07-09 YTFCE Ms. Zellin Lowe

Ardent Volunteer, Ms. Zellin Lowe

Ms. Terri Hall

Yet Another Ardent Volunteer, Ms. Terri Hall

2016-07-09 Ms. Janet Gooding, Merle France and Ms. Regis Thompson-Lawrence

Dedicated to Youth Empowerment: Mrs. Janet Gooding, Ms. Merle France and Ms. Regis Thompson-Lawrence

Lunch at YTFCE Self-Empowering Workshop

We Thank our Food Donors, Panera Bread (Doherty Enterprises), Dino Pizza and Italian Restaurant and our Volunteers. We are particularly touched by the kindness of the  parent who brought in some water. Thank You!  

 

Lunch at Self-Empowering Workshop 2016

YTFCE Lunch at Self Empowering Workshop

Lunch – Compliments Panera Bread and Gino’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant

IMG_20160712_001101

Creative Empowerment Arts Contest $1000 College Scholarship Winner, Ms. Sage Fortune

20160709_150835

Youth Forum Participants listen to Malaika Foster’s winning Poem entitled  “21st Century Youth” 

 

yourtime4liny.org 1 2016 Caleb Garard expresses his views - Youth Forum

Mr. Joshua Garard Expresses his Views at Youth Forum

Youth Forum Participant and past contest winner, Malaika Foster

2015/16 Contest Winner, Ms. Malaika Foster Expresses her Views on Life for the 21st Century Youth

IMG_20160711_235630

Laughter is Good for The Soul!

IMG_20160711_235420

Peer Leader and College Scholarship Recipient, Ms. Nailah Garard Delivers an Empowering Message About Her College-Bound Journey

College Student Presenter Mr. Caleb Garard 2016-07-09 yourtime4liny.org

Med Student and YTFCE Presenter shares empowering details of his journey to Medical School

College Student Presenter, Mr. Caleb Garard

Mr. Caleb Garard, our Medical Doctor of Tomorrow!

Madona Ayorinde Branch.  www.yourtime4liny.org

Ms. Madona Ayorinde Branch Presents to College Students and Recent HS Grads – 11th Grade Students

Madona Ayorinde Branch Presenter

Ms. Madona Ayorinde Branch, Wellesley College Grad Discusses the Characteristics of Various Relationship Dynamics for College Success

Self Empowering Workshop 2016 Marie'sPresentation

YTFCE Self-Empowering Workshop 2016 Participants

Ms. Vivienne Anderson Parenting Workshop Facilitator 2016-07-09

YTFCE 2016 Parenting Workshop facilitated by Ms. Vivienne Anderson

Parenting Workshop

Ms. Vivienne Anderson Presents to Parents at Your Time For Creative Empowerment 2016 Day of Inspiration, Empowerment and Warm Embrace

2016-07-09 www.yourtime4liny.org

Captivating!

Nailah Garard yourtime4liny.org

Recent High School Graduate, Ms. Nailah Garard Empowering Speech

Nailah Garard, Contest Winner and Peer Leader

Your Time For Creative Empowerment 2016 Youth Forum Participants

yourtime4liny.org youthforum

L to R: Ms. Sage Fortune, Ms. Nailah Garard, Mr. Joshua Garard, and Mr. Michael Desir

2016-07-09 The Family That Works Together...

Brighter Prospects are in the Works for Familes and Communities that Work Together! With our Annual Fundraising Event around the corner, we graciously welcome your involvement in Your Time For Creative Empowerment Inc. If you cannot physically chip in your time, a donation will register your support of our mission quite well. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Thank you 2016 workshop

I am grateful to all, who in their special ways, contributed to the success of this event.  -Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed., Founder/CEO- copyright 2016 Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. All rights reserved

With Open Arms and Mind


It is with open arms and an open mind that I serve as the Founder and CEO of a non-profit that I believe has such great potential to blossom.

The key to Community service, as modeled by my parents when I was young and impressionable is unequivocal selflessness. It is not possible to effectively serve with ‘reservation’. This is where the open arms, heart and mind policy comes to play. Service- whether socially or spiritually based – I believe, should be positioned to address the needs of those who feel they can use what the provider has to offer. It should be devoid of biases, personal vendettas or anything that casts a shadow of insincerity.

It is unfortunate that what can be characterized as innate discriminatory practices, more often than not, come to play in this process and muddy things up. When the absence of open mindedness is not wreaking havoc with the obstacles and barriers that otherwise ‘well-meaning’ people place in the way of others, it is busy reinforcing the superiority complex in others who simply ‘know’ this can’t be for them even though it is this very practice of denial that has created a need for service.  This, to say the least, is not for the faint of heart. It must be emphasized here that most people who serve, do so, looking for nothing in return as they bless others with what they have been blessed with.

How does one rise above this, and continue to serve with open arms, heart and mind – even in the midst of man-made psychological hurricanes?

I will now share some of the tools I have used to navigate this self-help personal development dilemma:

  1. Introspection – a serious look into the essence of my being. Why am no I here? Where do I see myself in the bigger picture of the fabric of mankind or humanity?
  2. Commitment: How badly do I feel the need to be of service to my fellow man, knowing that I have no control over who will or will not appreciate my efforts?  How willing am I to learn new ways to handle my life so that the service I render is more complimentary rather than a distraction to me? 
  3. Determination – How strong is my desire to stay the course- no matter what or who for that matter, becomes an obstacle in my way? What would it take to derail me, if anything?
  4. Empathy: How am I doing in the unwavering love, respect, and understanding for my fellow man/woman department? How capable am I of feeling agape love, respect and compassion to the extent that I can understand and appreciate the plight of others around me? Do I have a desire to relate to others who are ‘not like me’, or am I embarking on a solely self-serving journey?  It is the “there but for the grace of God go I” reality of life that keeps one grounded and humbled enough to serve with open hands, mind and heart.

Now, for some service-related Madonarism by Madona Cole-Lacy 

“When we choose service with an open heart and mind, over the sideshows of the growth process of life, we can go to bed at the end of the day with a measure of appreciation for the true meaning of self-actualization that will lead us to a strong desire to reproduce the same in the morrow.”Madona Cole-Lacy

“The ability to empathize with others around us is the power cord upon which service with an open heart and mind is grounded. Handle this cord with care!”

It is my wish that this post, which was inspired by a WordPress One Word Prompt, will encourage others to develop their own list of self-help service-related tools. 

Your Time for Creative Empowerment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that educates and empowers children, adolescents and parents of both secular and faith-based communities in the Long Island area, through the use of arts, fashion and culture as mechanisms to:

* Improve interpersonal relationships* Avoid pitfalls that are unique to life in the 21st Century * Specifically identify and effectively develop healthy problem-solving* Enhance personal development and increase cultural sensitivity.

 

 

 

 

Your Time For…Social Gathering 101


When was the last time you went to a holiday social gathering and walked away sober, intellectually intact, motivated, and self-assured you were in the driver’s seat of self-improvement? For me, it was a week ago when involved family members, and the children they passionately support, assembled for an ‘impromptu’ get-together. This exceptional experience has left me hoping that there were many more of such events around the country – and the world – at a time when we celebrate peace, love and goodwill to all men.

img_5838

It was the thought of maintaining a strong bond with the people we serve through participation in meaningful ways, that caused us to press on with the idea of reaching out to parents and students who have participated in Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.‘s workshops as a holiday activity – with only a week’s advance notice.

I had no idea who would want to show up and for what reason they would want to do so – or even what good reason they would have to stay away.  My faith in mankind and determination to implement creative ways to form critical partnerships and identify the needs of those we serve was more in focus than the “what if?”, failure-bound, second-guessing position that can occasionally sneak up on people and overpower them.

I am writing this post to shine the spotlight on a remarkable cadre of people who joined us for a casual get-together that was clearly driven by openness to personal and social enrichment that Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. has gained a reputation for providing. I know better than to entertain the thought that, by virtue of their association with the organization, this stellar group of people navigated the evening by giving back to us what we have given to them in the past. My educated guess is that students, parents, grandparents, grand aunts and community leaders who are on a mission, showed up to bring to the table the unique gifts they possess that they recognize are vital to the existence and good health of the organization. I thank you for being an integral part of this vision. To those well-wishers, parents and volunteers who could not join us for this family gathering, we acknowledge your importance in this equation and hope to see you soon. Thank you for your support.

 

Below are highlights of some of the lessons taught by and learned from our insightful youth at what turned out to be an evening which embodied the elements of a lesson plan for  Social Gathering 101. 

1. HARMONY– people coming together for a purpose and a reason.  Strength in life to come together for a purpose; strength to press forward; togetherness; connecting the dots (harmony-love-joy-pride, etc.). We need love to bring harmony, we need courage to go on a journey

2. JOURNEY – steps which are part of our successes and failures

3. LOVE – found in a society among each other; giving back; charity

4. JOY – people need joy; giving to the needy; giving joy to others; everything you give – — your love is joy.

5. HONOR – self respect; high self-esteem

6. SELF – self-worth; how you value yourself as a person

7. PRIDE – don’t let others knock your confidence down

 8. ENDURANCE – a lot of goals; a lot of work, projects; in bettering yourself for a purpose; not knowing where I am going; excited

 9. DETERMINATION – calls for repetition until you get perfection

10. TIME – we don’t have enough time to do all we need to do but we must make time to be with people who support us – “Putting time in perspective”

11. COURAGE – to go to school away and be by myself – To find myself; do what I have to do. “I like that word. Parents need to develop courage too.”

What a Creative Empowerment Arts Contest Donor had to say: “Your journey is about connecting the dots to a “higher being.” It’s important to be you. Your steps are woven blessings on your path; they are your stepping-stones to your future. Your journey never ends. It’s an investment in who you are and will become. Whether you are soft-spoken or out-spoken, “believe in yourself” and as a donor, I’ll believe in you and me.   -Florence Bell-

 Please click on this link  to make a difference in the lives of the youth and families we serve.  

Our Mission

Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that educates and empowers children, adolescents and parents of both secular and faith-based communities in the Long Island area, through the use of art, fashion and culture as mechanisms to improve interpersonal relationships; to avoid pitfalls that are unique to life in the 21st Century; and to specifically identify and effectively develop healthy problem-solving, enhance personal development and increase cultural sensitivity.

For updates on current and upcoming activities: www.creativeempowermentarts.org                                www.yourtime4liny.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Excitement Continues!


As the school year winds down this week after a hectic year for dedicated staff and administrators, we celebrate students who went above and beyond expectations. I say, “well done” to these students, some of whom I had the pleasure of experiencing at their Senior Awards event. It is my hope that parents, guardians and community members would take a moment to tell a student in their lives, how much they appreciate the hard work that they have put into making the year a successful one. It is easier and quite natural for the high achievers to receive compliments for obvious reasons, but let us not forget those who are striving to get there – those who also have their eyes on the prize, even though their individual life situations do not lend themselves to instant success. Such students could use some encouragement and cheerleading along the way to excellence. As I wish our youth a safe and exciting summer vacation experience, I would like to share yet another attempt at video-editing of the final 2015/16 school year Creative Empowerment Arts Scholarship presentation awarded to Visual Arts Winner Jhalisa Bayer, and Runner Up Dany Mazariegos (in absentia) of the Wyandanch Memorial High School on June 9, 2016.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were happy to see Melchizedek Aarons, last school year’s Geoffrey and Ivonne Canada Scholar and  Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. Creative Empowerment Arts College Scholarship recipient in the music category. Mel who has just completed his freshman year at Lincoln University, will be on hand to share his expertise on how to achieve balance at college. As we further attempt to encourage dialogue amongst youth peers, we have also invited Marie Saint-Cyr, a 2014 Creative Empowerment Arts contestant, to make a presentation on what it takes to prepare for, and successfully study abroad.  Marie, who has just completed her freshman year at F.I.T was also able to navigate her way to and through a study abroad opportunity. An exciting time awaits! Here is an introduction to Marie’s Spring Semester Abroad.

I would like to conclude this post by underscoring the reason why Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. was birthed. Our mission is to provide creative ways to effect youth and family empowerment in light of the challenges and pitfalls of the 21st Century. The programs and activities we offer, are designed to benefit students and families of the human race, regardless of their social or economic status. This is borne from my discovery as a licensed New York State teacher who had the privilege of demonstrating that teaching reading, writing and arithmetic is only a fraction of the task teachers are charged with doing.  Another source of inspiration is the realization that the challenges of life and pitfalls are no respecter of money or perceived racial, political and social superiority. This is enough to embolden me to ask you, the reader, and the world at large to support us and similar youth empowerment initiatives as an investment in leaders of tomorrow.

Love Notes:

Yes, multi-tasking does not afford me an opportunity to specialize in any one of the areas of the multiple hats I wear. It is my hope that my call for like-minded folks with a bit of time to spare will soon find its  way into the hearts of those who can volunteer in the video-editing area of need, as well as, other areas of need. 

Resource Persons:

Since we take the well-being of those we serve seriously, we ask that you please work with us by supplying verifiable information on your registration form if you want to be considered as a member of our pool of Resource Persons. We can work with you better when we understand your interest in joining us. 

Call to Action:

Please click on the image below to sign up or support us.

Your Time For Creative Empowerment Workshop 2016 Countdown

Your Time for Creative Empowerment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that educates and empowers children, adolescents and parents of both secular and faith-based communities in the Long Island area, through the use of  the arts, fashion and culture as mechanisms to: * Improve interpersonal relationships* Avoid pitfalls that are unique to life in the 21st Century * Specifically identify and effectively develop healthy problem-solving* Enhance personal development and increase cultural sensitivity.

 

An Exciting Time of the Year: A Time to Congratulate, Celebrate, and Reward Seniors!


At this exciting time of the year, when high school seniors are reaping the reward of their hard work, I am honored to be granted the opportunity to be in the midst of some of this excitement! Thanks to students who have responded to Your Time For Creative Empowerment’s call for the annual Creative Empowerment Arts Contest!  I also thank and commend the administrators, principals and staff of these schools for the hard work they put into organizing their respective senior award events. I have so far had the honor of making a college scholarship presentation to the following:

Nailah Garard of the Half Hollow Hills High School East

IMG_20160526_214512227

Left to Right: Mr. James A. Lacy, Volunteer Program Director, Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy, Founder/CEO, Creative Empowerment Arts Contest Scholarship Recipient Nailah Garard, sister, Japera, brother, Caleb (Medical Student) and proud father, Mr. Stan Garard, of the recipient of two awards that night.Creative Empowerment Arts Contest

Glorieanne Quiban of Farmingdale High School

FON_0518B

Your Time For Creative Empowerment Founder, Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy acknowledges  Glorieanne Quiban for her winning entry at 2015 Fundraising gala

As I sat amongst other presenters at both awards events, I couldn’t help but feel I truly belonged there – whether or not I was scheduled to make a presentation. Our leaders of tomorrow were being acknowledged for the hard work they had put in throughout the years! Even with the impressive representation of the immediate family members, I could see how the significance of this acknowledgement spills over to the community at large, to become the business of my co-presenters who represented all facets of the community.

I must confess that, if it were possible, I would have given a hug to every one of those ACHIEVERS! I would have told them to keep their eyes trained on the prize, for the world was looking up to them for sustainability.  As I expressed my conviction that they could rise up to the occasion, I would have prayed that they would take this “random lady” seriously enough to believe it.

Glorieanne Quiban, (recipient of two awards)  and her proud mother, Ms. Sheeryn Quiban, join Founder/CEO Madona Cole-Lacy and Program Director James A. Lacy after the Farmingdale High School awards ceremony

I will now share our best attempt at video taping and editing in celebration of one of our leaders of tomorrow, Nailah Garard. I do this proudly, but with a heightened awareness of the fact that Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. is in need of a volunteer professional videographer or an aspiring videographer. Contact us here.

 

Creative Empowerment Arts Contest Scholarship Presentation

 

 

Your Time for Creative Empowerment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that educates and empowers children, adolescents and parents of both secular and faith-based communities in the Long Island area, through the use of  the arts, fashion and culture as mechanisms to:

* Improve interpersonal relationships

* Avoid pitfalls that are unique to life in the 21st Century

* Specifically identify and effectively develop healthy problem-solving

* Enhance personal development and increase cultural sensitivity.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing 2015 Gala Highlights and Wishes for a Bright and Prosperous New Year


Our Warmest Gratitude to all who contributed to the success of Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.’s Scholarship and Fundraising Gala on Saturday, November 21, 2015.
The room was filled to capacity as parents, students, public officials, community members, honorees, their friends and families assembled at the Merrick Golf Club House to celebrate the Supportive Spirits of our honorees and the Creative Spirits the Creative Arts Contest participants. As the spirits of volunteerism and support were embraced and celebrated, so were the respective voices of Long Island’s youth through their Creatively Empowering expressions.

There  was something for everyone. The spiritually-focused who, as a rule, embrace and celebrate the uniqueness of others were well fed, as was the curiosity of the creative-minded! Warm gratitude must be extended to County Executive Mangano for recognizing our honorees with a citation presented to them on his behalf by his Deputy County Executive, Dr. Phillip Elliott, who in the capacity of an ordained minister, offered the invocation for the evening. Also on hand with citations, was Councilwoman Viviana Russell of the Town of North Hempstead. Town of Hempstead Councilwoman, Dorothy Goosby, provided a creatively designed citation to the organization which was very much in line with the waFON_0486 (2)y we encourage our youth to use their talents to meaningfully express themselves. We thank the Town of Hempstead Parks and Recreation Department for graciously hosting us, and appreciate the unwavering support and involvement of community organizations, businesses and individuals who stood out this time.

Thank you is in order to Mr. and Mrs. Desmond Morrison and Ms. Geraldine Gooding for traveling all the way from Maryland to support us, the Art League of Long Island, Colonial Flower Shop, and Havana Central. A special thank you goes out to our honorees (E. Vivienne Anderson, Florence Bell, Dr. John Clarke, Marjorie Whigham-Desir, Michael Desir, Alicia Figueras, Presiding Officer Duwayne Gregory, Terri Hall, Gail King, Zellin Lowe, Diane Lucas, Esq., Anita Marco, Felicia Serrette, Dr. Lizette Wright-Polk), without whom the evening would simply not have materialized had they not accepted our request to honor them for the role they have played in our quest to empower and embrace 21st Century youth in our own unique way. Ms. Cognac Wellerlane’s role in providing media coverage for the event has not been taken lightly, and neither has the task of our professional photographer, Frank FON_0518B (2)Fontana of Fontana Studios in Merrick, the Print Cafe of Lynbrook for our printing needs, Tim Dorsey for providing music and Florence Bell for the beautifully set tables. Special thanks also are expressed to Mrs. Janet Gooding and Claudestine Williams-Tucker for their volunteer and community service assistance respectively with preparations for the event, and to Peer Leader Marie Saint-Cyr for gracing the event with her refreshing art work and for taking on the responsibility of greeting our guests at the registration table, Evynn McFall for onsite coordination, and last but by no means least, our Masters of Ceremony Shelly Cohen and Gregory Singer for their role in moving the program along.

Rumor has it that the multi-ethnic culinary delights were well received by our guests! Bravo to all who came on board to make this happen, including The Island By The Sea Jamaican Restaurant of 300 Wellwood Avenue, Freeport, New York – our Primary Restaurant Food Sponsor. Havana Central from Roosevelt Field, the Imperial Diner of Merrick Road, Freeport, New York; and Ayhan’s Mediterranean Restaurant on Sunrise Highway in Baldwin also consented to participate. The labor of love of volunteers who prepared Sierra Leonean, Dominican and Southern culinary delights will never be forgotten. We are truly grateful for their help.

The stage was set, and the message was clear as Malachi Aarons join his brother Melchizedek Aarons (our 12 gradeFON_0516 (2) category 2014/15 Creative Empowerment Arts Contest Winner) to creatively express the art of collaboration through the saxophone and keyboard; Sisters, Brianna and Jasmine Gobourne, ministered in dance to honor their grandmother; the volunteer mother and son team of Marjorie Desir and Michael Desir that brought to light the axiom “if you show them, they will learn”. Also featured were the expressions of Contest first runner up, Glorieanne Quiban, who expressed her concern for the 21st century youth though her “Fighting for the Same Thing Now and Then” digital illustration which illustrates how nothing has changed since the 60’s when Black folks fought for their civil rights; and Malaika foster, who in poem, told us how the world we create affects her and her peers in a manner that calls for change through self-empowerment. The visual art work “Deja Vu” of Dany Mazariegos symbolizes hope and faith – “the ability to persevere in the outside world’s negativity.” On her topic of choice, “The Broken Self Esteem”, the voice of Jhalisa Bayer was heard loudly and clearly through the summary of her winning entry in the visual arts category in which she talks about the damaging effects of the broken self esteem.                                                          FON_0523

The 2014/15 Creative Empowerment winners are as follows: Malaika Foster – Elmont Memorial High School, 10th Grade Winner (Poem) ~ Jhalisa Bayer – Wyandanch Memorial High School, 11th Grade -Visual Arts Winner: pen, broken mirror pieces, hot glue, acrylic ~ Glorieanne Quiban – Farmingdale High School, 11th Grade – Visual Arts Runner Up: Digital Illustration ~ Dany Mazariegos – Wyandanch Memorial High School, 11th Grade -Visual Arts 2nd Runner Up: Drawing ~ Melchizedek Aarons – Wyandanch High School Graduate 12th Grade Winner – Music: Jazz – Saxophone.

The evening wrapped up with a “surprise” presentation to Mr. James Lacy, the organization’s Program Director. The well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Supporter-In-Chief Integrity Award was presented to him as he was ministered to in dance and poetry by Liturgical Dancer Florence Bell in a public acknowledgement of the extraordinary support he has offered the organization in good health as well as in the wake of health challenges that take “in sickness and in health” to a whole new level.

 

Our Mission

Your Time for Creative Empowerment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that educates and empowers children, adolescents and parents of both secular and faith-based communities in the Long Island area, through the use of the arts, fashion and culture as mechanisms to:

* Improve interpersonal relationships
* Avoid pitfalls that are unique to life in the 21st Century
* Specifically identify and effectively develop healthy problem-solving
* Enhance personal development and increase cultural sensitivity.

What We Must Not Forget As We Forge Ahead


ytfcevolunteers

With three years of invaluable insights and enlightenment under my belt, I think it is only fitting to share with you a sampling of an abundance of reflections on my experience as a nonprofit founder. As you read on, you will find a summary of four of what I characterize as the basic components of a not-for-profit journey that I have embraced as mine. This desire to share thoughts on some of the nonprofit related lessons of my life can be attributed, in part, to the deep appreciation for people who have repeatedly answered the call, and even exceeded expectations, to assist with Your Time For Creative Empowerment events and activities over the years. Some of these dedicated volunteers and supporters have consented (reluctantly) to be honored at the upcoming 3rd Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. Annual Gala! I suspect the reason that outstanding volunteers kick and scream at the thought of being honored is captured by this quote which I understand quite well. “Anything can be accomplished as long as you don’t care who gets the credit.” -Unknown-

The 2015 Scholarship and Fundraising Gala which will hopefully raise funds for our college scholarships, student-driven leadership clubs, and take our signature programs to the next level, is the perfect vehicle through which I can humbly extend my gratitude to each and every one who has contributed to the success of the first and subsequent fundraising events. Please click here for pictorial memories or an introduction to highlights of our 2013 and 2014 Galas. You are invited to browse our websites (www.yourtime4liny.org and www.creativeempowermentarts.org) for a reason to support our initiative this year.

The excitement I feel from the sweet spirit of support and understanding from all who have contributed to the glorious moments of this organization must not, however, be dampened by some of the most challenging moments of disappointment, bias, pettiness that can get in the way of, and completely destroy the faint of heart on this nonprofit-nurturing journey. It is for this reason that I offer the following as tools with which one can prepare oneself to set out on this journey.

The Dream and the Marriage

It all starts with the first step towards the unknown! With not much more than a burning desire to make a selfless contribution to the quality of life of others that you may or may not know, you toss your hat into the ring of the nonprofit world. It is at this time that the “I” becomes the “We” in a manner that is not unlike the expectation of a healthy marriage dynamic. The slight difference here, is that this relationship is sustained by the support of people from all walks of life, of all social and economic status, and race and religious affiliations with a genuine desire to pitch in and help make a Founder’s vision come to life. After all, there is a reason why successful “dreamers” are best complemented by effective and efficient “doers” in order that they can keep on dreaming. This is not to say that a visionary must not orient herself or himself to be an implementer of the related skill-set required to keep things moving! My mindset on taking on this mission is summarized in the following quote: “The only time it is about me, is when I show basic respect and common decency towards my co-laborers as my primary contribution towards upholding the integrity and facilitating the goals of a common cause” -Madona Cole-Lacy-

A Case for Mentorship

Mentoring, offered formally or informally by those who already know the ropes, is also as important as the benevolence of those who give freely of their time in other areas, share their expertise, make donations and contributions to help make things work out for the beneficiaries targeted in the vision. The following says it all for me! “Leaders should influence others in such a way that it builds people up, encourages and edifies them so they can duplicate this attitude in others.” -Bob Goshen- 

Founder? Let’s try Volunteer/Donor-in-Chief

Do titles really matter? Yes, when they clearly reflect the role and realities of the position, they do matter. This designation is one I have come up with to describe a role that founders play in the equation of the nonprofit startup – one that is likely to be taken for granted by those who are standing on the outside looking in. Those who fit into this category find themselves making unbelievable sacrifices that at times can affect their own state of well-being, as they work toward building a firm foundation that others might find worthy to identify with. I duff my hat to all who fit into this category, and pray that more like-minded folks will bring some relief soon! “I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.” -Harry S. Truman –

Personal Growth and Development

This is the greatest area of challenge, even with all the competent personal development coaches or well-written books and manuals that aspiring and seasoned nonprofit leaders can easily access.  I know how important these resources can be with regards to the development of self in readiness for working successfully with others. It is my belief that the main contributing factor to a halfway successful venture is the ability to work with the many personalities that will be encountered along the way – exercising self-control and discipline in dealing with people you encounter. Rather than elaborate on this important issue which I suspect every founder or leader has to deal with sometime, I want to invite you, the reader, to share how you deal with this make or break issue. What is your experience? Please do not hesitate to SHARE. Here is a quote on the subject that hits the nail on the head for me. “Personal growth is to see each moment, each person, each challenge and each adversity as an opportunity to embrace more of yourself and the world around you.” – Tom Erik Green-                 

As I sign off, I want to thank you for allowing me to engage you up to this point. It is now time for me to go back to this year’s Gala preparation. Do plan to be there if you can, or show your appreciation for what Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. does to empower 21st Century youth by selecting one of the options for support here.

Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed.

Visual/Teaching Artist & Cultural Partner ~ Motivator ~    Social Entrepreneur ~ Educator

Founder/CEO: Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. www.yourtime4liny.org Continue reading

Youth Empowerment: What We Do to Help the Process Along


Roots and Wings

Slide2

See More

Empowering Long Island’s Youth – A Collaborative Endeavor


Please read the quotes below which capture the essence of some of what I hoped to accomplish with the founding of Your  Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.

YTFCE UPCOMING FINAL

Download PDF of flyer –Your Time For Creative Empowerment Upcoming Events 2015  

I recognize we are only in the infancy stage of fulfilling the organization’s mission – a stage we could not have arrived at without a dream, tremendous determination and the selflessness of a number of people whose contributions and encouragement have played a big role in our buoyancy. It is my intention to periodically shine the spotlight on those who are supportive of our quest to empower Long Island’s youth and families.

That we have had no reason to worry about a home for our Self-Empowering Workshops, is owed to the benevolence of Molloy College’s Office of Advancement Associate Director of Development, Corporate Relations; Cynthia Costanzo-Metzger. The warmth with which I am greeted by Barbara Simms and Gina Renaldi of the Town of Hempstead each time I approach them with a space request for our organization’s Free Community Networking Soiree, gives me much encouragement!. The Art League of Long Island’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery’s perfect backdrop for our Scholarship and Fundraising Gala Kick-Off, would not have been possible without one for whom I have great respect – Charlee Miller, the League’s Executive Director, and the Development Director, Bobbie Janowitz.

In the interest of transparency, I must admit that the inordinate energy and effort expended to get student participation, is disproportional to the outcomes thus far. This leaves me asking “WHY?”…..  even as I graciously acknowledge the help of volunteers, teachers, parents and school administrators who like Dr. Deborah Wortham, Superintendent, and Mrs. Barbara Evans, Art Teacher of the Roosevelt School District, who saw the benefit in exposing their students to the Annual Creative Empowerment Arts Contest we are offering Long Island’s high school students.

As part of our growth process, we welcome the support and assistance of like-minded individuals. We are open to constructive criticism accompanied by viable, executable suggestions. We take all concerns into consideration as we underscore our philosophy with an unwavering emphasis on the following: Your Time For Creative Empowerment is race, class, gender and socio-economically sensitive in all that we do.

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”  – Mary McLeod Bethune –

Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed, Founder/CEO                                                                                                                                   Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.

www.yourtime4liny.org