Elmont High School Senior Receives Creative Empowerment Arts Contest College Scholarship Award


Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. Creative Empowerment Arts Contest $500.00 College Scholarship Winner Malaika Foster of Elmont Memorial High School — for her literary submission entitled “21st Century Youth”— pictured with: (L to R) Program Director, Mr. James Lacy; Founder/CEO, Mrs. Madona Cole-lacy and Board Member, Dr. Jeanine Cook-Garard, at the Elmont Memorial High School 2017 Senior Award Ceremony. 

It was a delight to witness the overwhelming support the 2016/17 Senior Class exhibited at the Elmont Memorial High School Senior Awards Ceremony. The rousing applause that followed as each recipient was called to the podium was nothing short of contagious. This camaraderie did not go unnoticed and, as such, has earned the 2017 Elmont Memorial High Senior Class, the 2016/17 Mutual Supportive Spirit Award! 

Find out more about the winning entry of this extraordinary college-bound youth advocate and future Journalist by clicking the link below: http://www.creativeempowermentarts.org/MalaikaFosterwinner.html

Your Time For Creative Empowerment Inc. has proudly served Makaila and her Mom, Ms. Marta Foster since 2014. Ms. Foster’s willingness to participate in the events and activities refects what she perceives as the importance of working collaboratively with community organizations and schools as a parent.— with Makaila Foster and Ms. Marta Foster.

We welcome with open hands and heart, Dr. Jeanine Cook-Garard, who recently joined us as a member of Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. Board of Directors. We thank her for bringing to the table her life and professional skills (as a mother of high-achieving children and a college professor) that will no doubt help in the empowerment of Long Island Area youth. — with Makaila Foster and Ms. Marta Foster, Mr. James Lacy and Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy.

Makaila Foster, who will pursue her post-high school education in Journalism in the Fall, has been invited to play an active role at the non-profit’s Annual Self-Empowering Workshop, on July 8th, 2017, by sharing with participants, tips on how she navigated high school as a 21st Century youth.  This workshop will address the needs of Junior High, High School, College-Bound Graduates, and Current College Students and their parents. Registration is necessary for this event. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-your-time-forself-empowering-workshop-tickets-34556142352?aff=es2 

Click here for event page 

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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

What We Must Not Forget As We Forge Ahead


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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

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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.

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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

A Post-Event Press Release: Nassau and Suffolk Offer A Giant Embrace For Youth Creative Expressionists


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  www.yourtime4liny.org              gala@yourtime4liny.org            yourtime4talkblog   

POST-EVENT RELEASE

          

Gala Album

          

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.       Guests at Creatively Embracing 21st Century Youth Gala

“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 healthy innovative 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.

College Scholarship Winner Nailah Garard of Half Hollow Hills High School East shares her thoughts behind her creative expression 'Trapped' (3)

College Scholarship Winner Nailah Garard of Half Hollow Hills High School East shares her thoughts behind her creative expression ‘Trapped’

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-  

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Samantha Uebel of  Babylon High School talks about her winning poem.

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.

Scholarship Winner, Julia Maher of Farmingdale High School with her creative expression, 'Slipping away from Sanity' also known as 'Paranoia'

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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 Slave To 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. 

 

Cynthia Metzger receives her handcrafted plaque (2)

Honoree Cynthia Metzger receives a handcrafted plaque

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.”

Anahi DeCanio - ArtyZen Studios

Honoree Cynthia Costanzo Metzger and guests-Photography by Anahi DeCanio – ArtyZen Studios

 

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

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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.  2014-11-30 18.06.54 (3)

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.                                   

                                                            Journal Ads can still be purchased for the yearly commemorative e-journal through the website: http://www.yourtime4liny.org

To learn more about Your Time For Creative Empowerment, visit the organization’s website: http://www.yourtime4liny.org or call (516) 965-3242.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Your Time To …Embrace Long Island’s High School Students


You are invited …. We are excited!

Come see and hear Long Island’s youth present their uncensored expressions on drugs, sex, alcohol, technology and life as they know it today at the

Creatively Embracing 21st Century Youth Scholarship and Fundraising Gala

at 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM on Thursday, November 20, 2014

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Your Time To…Embrace Long Island’s Creative, Socially Conscious High School Students! `

At this year’s gala, we will feature students and their work from the following schools: Syosset High School * Roosevelt Senior High * Babylon Senior High * The Wheatley School * Farmingdale High School *Seaford High School *Central Islip Senior High School and Centereach High School so far.

Another highlight of the evening is the acknowledgement of distinguished community leaders.

All contestants get to attend at no cost to them. Discounted reservation rate is available for parents, teachers and well-wishers of contestants. Please click the link below:

http://www.yourtime4liny.org/SupportUs2014gala.html

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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller-.