Who Are The people In Our Neighborhood?
There are a lot of exciting things going on in the Rockaways. And a lot of people doing great things. I think it’s about time that we start to shine some light on these individuals. Many residents see what’s going on around them and feel compelled to do something. It doesn’t take much to complain about what’s wrong. It does take effort and dedication to try to find solutions.
I would like to use this segment to acknowledge those who try to make a difference in our community.
Let me introduce Ms. Lakia Echlos, the founder of Make My Mother Proud, a not for profit organization that provides an array of services and programs to underserviced youth in the Rockaways.
Lakia is a single mom and 12 year veteran serving in the U.S. Army. While home from Kuwait in 2004 she became involved in community development. She wanted to return to the service but was much more concerned with the war that was going on in her community. While home, she witnessed youth with little or no hope or motivation. Make My Mother Proud was founded in 2011. Since then she has been busy making a difference in the lives of youth through programs such as The Stack Bundles Stop the Violence Basketball Tournament, organizing open-mic and youth talent shows and college preparation workshops. Each year, she helps underprivileged girls find a prom dress and accessories. She was a part of the Hurricane Sandy relief team and continues to create programs and provide services.
She is currently pursuing a degree in Organizational Management. After graduation, her goals include building a multicultural center in the Rockaways and one day run for City Council. “Act as though it’s impossible to fail” is her motto and a good way to Make My Mother Proud.
You can log on to her web site; www.makemymotherproud.org to find out more and to find out about upcoming events.
Ilyassha Shivers is an intern from Far Rockaway.