“MadonaRism” came into existence for me when I encountered a cellist a few years ago at the African American Museum, which is now known as the Joysetta & Julius Pearse African American Museum of Nassau County. What started as an exchange of pleasantries progressed into a quasi-philosophical level of interaction in the 10 minutes my husband and I spent talking to her.
We had met a kindred spirit who, after a brief encounter, exclaimed, “That is a Madonaism!” The perplexed look on my face must have engendered the clarification… “only you can express yourself the way you do.” Even though I did not see that coming, I was most appreciative of, and impressed by, her willingness to reveal her characterization of my mode of verbal expression. In my book, it takes a special individual to engage a stranger with attentiveness and generosity of spirit. The donor of this inspirational gift fits the bill! What I believe she gained from her empowering gesture was satisfaction from being true to herself. A telling reinforcement of humanity!
The warm smile and knowing glance my husband and I exchanged in reaction to what had unfolded said it all! It was clear we were in agreement that Madonaism was indeed “a thing.” Without uttering a word,our ever-present oneness arrested and embraced this gift as yet another vehicle to further my philosophy of life’s lessons. My dot-connecting tendency wasted no time in tweaking the term to Madonarism! I introduced r torepresent empowering and personal development words, which start with the letter R.
All was well until I received a diplomatic alert – “I think Madonarism should have been Madonaism.” I must have unwittingly created room for meaningful, casual engagement with someone who cared enough to find out what the r was doing there. As welcoming as that side effect was, I could not ignore the necessity for a solution to mitigate doubt in the minds of the masses! The fear of this poetic license backfiring by deflecting from the expressions preceding the “MadonaRism” credit was real. Undaunted, I went on a redo and re-emphasize mode. The once embraced Madonarism would now read MadonaRism to highlight the importance and deliberate placement of r in the word. Besides sharing the origin story of MadonaRism, I have designed a logo which I plan on affixing to all MadonaRism-related work created and published. This should do it!
MadonaRism Mystery Summarized!
“The whys and wherefores of MadonaRism emanate from an inspirational gift the first female African American Cellist I met presented to me. Thanks to her; my free-flowing creative juices, and available poetic license, I have tweaked the original word – with R in place to symbolize empowering r-word concepts in my lessons of life expressions.”
Please share memories of unexpected sources of inspiration and what you did withyour gifts.
“The mindset to express gratitude once put in motion, unwittingly celebrates the gift of humanity. – A MadonaRism by Madona Cole-Lacy
This sentiment comes from my penchant for, and belief in, the limitless, all-inclusive nature of healthy expressions of gratitude. Not unlike kindness, one cannot express toomuchgratitude, and with that in mind, I shine the spotlight on one of such experiences last year – The Conversation – Molloy University 2022 Women’s Initiative and Symposium.
Determined to keep off the “Gotcha listof the unrelenting claws of cumulative grief”, I took advantage of this opportunity, to rekindle my identified purpose! Navigating the effects of the passing of my dear supportive mother and exceptional husband, who labored with me to engender youth and community empowerment, has not been easy! Thankfully, the option to maneuver a new normal with intentionality is available when the side effects of grief strike!
Another reason I stepped out of my “comfort zone” was the quest for meaningful human connection centered on my purpose in life. It was time for more inspiration to set ablaze an already determined flame of empowerment. I was so revved up that I arrived way ahead of time at Molloy University’s Madison Theatre. And yes, there were others in the lobby who had shown up much earlier! That, to me, was confirmation that I was going to be in good company! Once ushered in, I had a fleeting ‘fish-out-of-water’ moment, even though I initiated small talk with attendees around my table. Happily, it was not long before I considered giving myself a proverbial pat on the back for stepping out in faith.
The panelists were quite adept at connecting the dots of their passion and purpose with the theme, Redefining Your Purpose: How To Align Your Actions With Your Life’s Passion. The featured speaker, author and Nonprofit Founder, Genevieve Piturro, gave a presentation that indicated a lack of shortage of creative ways to pursue our passion! Guests received a copy of her book entitled; Purpose, Passion and Pajamas! The empowerment process continued with Emmy Award-Winning Journalist Allison Haunss. The Creator/Host and Producer of The Working Woman Report passionately moderated the panel of purposeful women who follow their respective bliss. Wendy Abrams, Senior Vice President Regional Manager – DIME, and Kerry Gillick-Goldberg, Founder/KGG Enterprises, LLC. made valuable contributions by identifying their chosen purpose in life, and responding to questions posed by the attendees.
It was an especially invigorating moment for me when Ms. Haunss mentioned youth empowerment. The opportunity to ‘reconnect’ with ‘pre-adversity Madona’ had come! This attendee who, for once, was more intent on being a silent observer – rather than ‘the outspoken one’, without hesitation, placed her hand up. That the program was winding down with less than 10 minutes to go did not seem to matter! The fear of the likelihood I would hug the mic had now taken a back seat. I instead embraced the realization that there was nothing I could have done to prevent myself from sharing my determined purpose with others. The sound of those two keywords had awakened my enthusiasm and something had to be said! Time was of the essence, so my knee-jerk response had to be a test of my ability to be succinct. Thanks to the patience and graciousness extended to me, I completed the ‘task’ at hand. I found it comforting that grief had not robbed me of the passion to empower and to be empowered! The spirits of my loved ones must have been relieved that their expectations of me were still intact! This experience, without a doubt, has uplifted my spirit in ways that go beyond what the naked eyes could see. Besides the opportunity to reconnect with familiar movers and shakers and meet with staff essential to my youth-oriented cause, it had enhanced and elevated to another level, the rekindling process of Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.
It is with profound gratitude I shine a spotlight on Molloy University’s Office of Advancement and Ms. Costanzo Metzger.
In addition to making this much-needed experience possible for me, the unwavering support of my youth empowerment initiatives over the years
As Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. prepares to execute its 2023 activities, the board of directors and I look forward to more of the Molly University Community Empowering posture in our organization.
When the passion to empower others as much as ourselves becomes uncontrollable, we invite purpose as an ally to help us preserve the health and welfare of humanity.” – A MadonaRism by Madona Cole-Lacy
Click here for more about Molloy University’s Office of Advancement and here to find out how you can join Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. in our quest to make a difference in the lives of youth and families in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and neighboring counties.
Feel free to respond or share your own gratitude and empowerment story.
It was an honor to present to Ashley Burbano (Winner) and Urooba Abid (Runner Up), of Farmingdale High School, the 2016/17 Creative Empowerment Arts Contest college scholarship award on Monday, June 8, 2017 for their Creative Expressions of the theme: “Our Hopes, Our Dreams, Our Fears, Our Solutions!”
This year’s ceremony, not unlike others we have attended in the past, quite naturally featured some of Long Island’s highest achievers. What I would like to shine the spotlight on though, is the engaging way in which the Principal, and staff acknowledge presenters. That special letter the Director of Guidance and Social Work, Maureen Moloughney, sends out before the event does it for me! What a wonderful gesture! My experience with the Farmingdale High School Staff in charge of the Senior Awards Ceremony can simply be characterized as stellar. This year’s CORDIALITY AWARD goes to the Farmingdale High School!
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.
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 knowbetter 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.
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.
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:
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?
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?
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?
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.”
“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.
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 CreativeEmpowerment, 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
I must acknowledge the ingenious way Mr. Snowden has creatively woven “the common thread” that runs through the fabric of humanity so beautifully. My knee-jerk reaction to this video clip calls for the sharing of the words to a song I was taught as a primary school pupil in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
“The more we are together, together, together, the more we are together,
the happier we shall be.
‘Cause your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends.
The more we are together the happier we shall be.”
My apologies to the writer as I take the liberty to further tweak the original song (which reads online as “get together”) to declare, “The more we work together, the happier we shall be!” When we unselfishly give of ourselves for the common good, comfort and advancement of our children and families, this seemingly mammoth job is quite easily done.
I am honored to be the recipient of unwavering support from those who undoubtedly exemplify outstanding leadership in their respective areas of specialization. Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. thanks you; the youth we serve thank you!
Be on the look out for our online 2014 Commemorative Journal for more on Your Time For Creative Empowerment’s journey through our activities and relationships.
Creatively Embracing 21st Century Youth Scholarship & Fundraising Gala
A Giant Embrace for Youth Creative Expressionists
Lindenhurst NY. Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6:30pm.
Your Time for Creative Empowerment, Inc. presented several scholarships and awards to the winners and participants in their Creative Empowerment Arts Contest at their Creatively Embracing 21st Century Youth Gala on Thursday, November 20, 2014. The youth-focused event was attended by community leaders from Nassau and Suffolk Counties, supportive family members, and friends of the Long Island high school contest participants in excess of 100 people. Grant awardees and scholarship winners were given an opportunity to share their thoughts on their own inspiration and creative process as the Creative Expressionists of the evening.
“The idea of encouraging our youth to speak through their unique art forms is one whose time has come. We intend to keep this culture going as a way to effect heightened awareness among parents, and valuable community involvement in the lives of Long Island’s children as we see and hear them express themselves in healthyinnovative ways.” -Madona Cole-Lacy, Founder/CEO-
Some sentiments from high school contestants are as follows:
“Wow, Thank you so much for the scholarship, I really do appreciate it. You did an amazing job putting the event together, it was an incredible evening.
You have really inspired me to keep my creative juices flowing by drawing, painting or anything I can do to express myself. I enjoyed talking to the other contestants and looking at the impressive artwork they did. Again, it was such an honor to be presented with an award. If you are having another event, I would love to be there. Please stay in touch.” – Creative Empowerment Contestant –
“…As soon as I turn 18, I am going to look into volunteering at the Trevor Project headquarters to hopefully help make a positive impact on someone’s life and be the helping hand that they might need. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – Creative Empowerment Contestant-
Even though guests got to enjoy a gourmet dinner along with a powerful networking opportunity against a backdrop of art and music, the purpose of this gathering at the stately Chateau La Mer in Lindenhurst was not lost as these sentiments suggest:
“I found the Gala interactive and electrifying for all stakeholders. The idea lays the groundwork in creativity and artistic productivity for our young millennials. Top Marks for Your Time for Creative Empowerment, Inc. for this brave new venture for youth!” –Kwame “Kumale” Fitzjohn, Host/Sr. Producer, Global African Media-
The 2014 Creative Empowerment Arts Contest winners are as follows:
Samantha Uebel – A Poem “Girl Without A Voice” (9th Grade – North Babylon High School) $500.00 to set up and run a club/support/leadership group at school. Ben Rhee – A Poem “Just A Click Away” (10th Grade – Syosset High School) $500.00 to set up a club/ support/leadership group at school. Nailah Garard – Portrait – “Trapped” (11th grade – Half Hollow Hills High School East) $1,000.00 College Scholarship. Aly Brier – Short Film – “A Helping Hand” (12th grade – The Wheatley School) $1,000.00 College Scholarship.
Julia Maher – Portrait – “Paranoia”/ “Slipping Away From Sanity” (12th grade – Farmingdale High School) $1,000.00 College Scholarship. Gigi Larios -Mendez – Portrait- “Too Blind To See” (Roosevelt Senior High School Graduate/ SUNY Old Westbury Freshman) $1,000.00 College Scholarship.
Other contestants with compelling creative expressions are: Tatiana Woellhof – Drawing -“You Are A SlaveTo Whatever Controls You” – (10th grade-Centereach High School) Kitty Zheng-Watercolor/black sharpie pen painting-“Growing New Layers”- (12th grade-Southold Jr/Sr High) Veronica Lane – Photography – “Portray Yourself Wisely” – (12th grade – St. John The Baptist DHS) Madison Migliaccio– Pen and Ink – “Hate Sold By The Bottle” – (12th grade – Farmingdale High School) Radiyyah Hussein– Oil Painting – “Freeing Peace” – (12th grade – Central Islip Senior High School) Emily Williams– Painting and Marker -“20 Flight Rock” – (12th grade – Seaford High)Marie Saint-Cyr – Collage – “A Helping Hand”-(F.I.T Freshman /Westbury High School Graduate) Plans are underway for a Community Creative Empowerment Arts Exhibition, which will open with a forum co-facilitated by the contestants.
Another highlight of the evening was the acknowledgement of a special breed of community role models for 21st Century youth, who were honored. “I am thankful and excited over the valuable support and input our Honorees conveyed in their respective messages, as they in their unique ways, pointed to the importance of and the urgency for the proverbial villagers to come together and serve our youth. We now have to work as hard and as smart as ever to open the hearts of those we seek to help, as well as those who straddle the fence of warm embrace, for this simply cannot be a one-woman or man show. There is plenty of room for like-minded altruistic volunteers and supporters.” – Madona Cole-Lacy-
“Dear Madona, I appreciate and thank you & Jim ever so much. The night was wonderful and very memorable. I was especially impressed with the works that you inspired the youth to produce. I’m proud & honored to be connected to such an effort, and I can’t thank you enough for thinking of and including me as an honoree. Regards & Best wishes.” -Mel Jackson-
Honoree Patricia Francis had this to say about her role in the gala: “It was a pleasure to assist our youth in obtaining their goals. They truly need to feel and have our/adult support.”
Creatively Embracing 21st Century Youth Scholarship & Fundraising Gala Honorees:
Patricia J. Francis, Co-Organizer and recent past president -The Sisters of the Arts, Nassau/ Suffolk/Queens Chapter, The Society Incorporated, and Member of National Executive Board
Jacqueline A. Gordon, Councilwoman -Town of Babylon, Lieutenant Colonel-United States Army Reserves, Western Suffolk BOCES Guidance Counselor
Sharon Gordon, Detective, Nassau County Police Department, Child Abuse and Special Victims Unit
Devon Harris, Motivational Speaker, Author, Philanthropist, Founder of Keep On Pushing Foundation, original Jamaican Bobsled Team member.
Mel Jackson, Executive Director, Leadership Training Institute
Cynthia Costanzo-Metzger, Associate Director of Development and Corporate Relations, Molloy College
George Siberon, Executive Director, Hempstead Hispanic Civic Association
Carrie Solages, Nassau County Legislator – District 3, Attorney at Law
Theresa Statz-Smith, Executive Director, Long Island Arts Alliance
Dr. Deborah L. Wortham, Superintendent, Roosevelt Union Free School District
The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was award-winning Video Journalist and Executive Producer of Fios1/ My Long Island TV, Waldo Cabrera. Executive Producer, Bob Spiotto, handled the coordination of the event.
Proceeds support Your Time For Creative Empowerment’s FREE creative programs and services to Long Island’s youth and their families, and provides funds for its Creative Empowerment Awards and Scholarships.