The Speakers’ Bureau has been producing successful events at “Brooklyn Leadership” high school for several years now. The program originally started after we sponsored several successful career panels that highlighted the need for introducing our students to positive role models who could provide personal inspiration and exposure to various professional endeavors. Our program recruits speakers to the school to talk with the students about their careers, life journeys, and struggles to overcome adversity. The format is approximately 35 minutes and typically consists of a speech followed by an interactive discussion or Q&A. While the time commitment is short, the positive impact on the kids is huge.
Our students often face multiple challenges, including economic stress (or poverty), familial strife, legal trouble, community violence and more. They need positive, inspiring role models with whom they can identify and relate. Accordingly, our speakers are usually successful professionals, businesspeople and artists and activists who share similarities with the students, either by background, neighborhood, personal struggle, family challenge or ethnicity.
Despite their challenges, our students have a variety of interests and talents, and they’re eager to learn about the many career options and life paths open to them. When they receive this information via personal stories from speakers with whom they can identify, the message is doubly powerful and productive.
The goal is to enable our speakers to inspire the students to dream big, set goals, and continue working hard. Program coordinator, Steve Williamson is a BCS Board Member, and works to identify and recruit speakers, assisting them through the process. Committing to the program only requires a few hours on a single weekday, but the positive impact on youth at our high school can be profound and transformational.
If you are interested in speaking at BHSLCS, and we hope that you are, please contact Program Coordinator Steve Williamson at 516-321-9481 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Brooklyn Leadership has been fortunate to have the following speakers volunteer their time to share with our students their stories, achievements, struggles, and career paths:
- Honorable Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix,Associate Justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, delivered a powerful message to the students about following a positive life path and avoiding the mistakes that often entangle young people in the criminal justice system and impact their future prospects.
- Janesse Dawson, an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, shared her personal story of overcoming tremendous obstacles to become a lawyer and join the District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn. Ms. Dawson also discussed her role in the criminal justice system.
- Tracy Inman,co-Director of The Ailey School at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, introduced the students to the world of professional dance, explained The Ailey School, and shared his unconventional story of success rising through the ranks to his current position.
- Jocelyn Cooperof AfroPunk, a multicultural music festival, shared a multimedia demonstration of music and art that entertained and educated the students.
- Fredara Mareva-Hadley, PhD., a visiting assistant professor in Jazz Studies at Oberlin College, spoke about music, culture and history, introducing the students to academia as a potential career path and a different way of viewing and understanding music.
- Prince Campbell,a dynamic media entrepreneur and founder of DevRover, a public relations and marketing company focused on internet presence, spoke about his various business enterprises.
- George Littlejohn,co-found and co-owner of Purpose Records, talked candidly about his background, entry into the music business and eventual rise to record company owner.
- Frantz Pierre-Louis, Jr.,a co-founder of Team First and former professional basketball player. Team First is a Brooklyn-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping academically under-performing children with a passion for basketball to reach their full potential.
- Soul Cycle’sCharlee Atkins drives her classes by emotion, beats, and bass and combined with universal life motivation. She believes that who you are in class is an honest look at yourself. A firm believer in creating space in your life for abundance, Charlee’s favorite quote is “Yes…or yes?” Charlee also models for Wilhelmina Models and is affiliated with numerous brand sponsorships across the nation.