Left, Theresa Zelaya and Anthony Ellison of Safe Space on Mott Avenue gave an interactive presentation that prepared those in attendance to discuss the problems on the peninsula - especially among the youth. Right, Andrea Sanders, wife of Far Rockaway Councilman James Sanders and the president of the Victorious Organization Of Women, who talked about the October rape of a 14-year-old on Beach 26 Street, as well as other rapes on the mainland. She said, "We are going to fight for our children, fight for education and fight for our seniors and protect and deliver the words that we are not going to be victimized in our community." How do we set our youth on the right path in life?
That was the issue tackled during the "Save Our Youth Conference" last weekend at the Goldie Maple Academy on Beach 56 Street.
After the opening ceremonies on Friday, Saturday was filled with lectures examining why many young people in Rockaway have turned to violence and criminal activity, and methods to change that behavior.
The conference was hosted by Councilman James Sanders Jr. and cosponsored by the Greater Allen Cathedral; Victorious Organization of Women; Weed and Seed; RIMC; Citizens against Recidivism; Safe Space; OFABT; and the Far Rockaway NAACP.
Speakers at the conference included Reverend Reed Allen of the A.M.E. Church and Wanda Devuv of "Citizens Against Recidivism."
|Above, Dr. Louise Pyant, a family and marriage therapist and the former assistant principal at PS 215, discussed how times and child-rearing have changed. "The purpose is family first … we've lost our focus." She explained that parents must set aside time in which they would do something for themselves and something [instead for their kids]. "The way you communicate with your children is the way they will communicate with you." Left, Councilman Sanders has committed himself to taking 20 young people, including at least five of the so-called 'bad kids', into the mountains on a leadership retreat. |