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:
- Brandon Grant, Director of Marketing at The Moth, a non-profit organization that focuses on the art of storytelling. Brandon leads a team responsible for creating and maintaining a public image that helps attract The Moth’s desired audiences. Brandon has also worked extensively in the publishing world, particularly in luxury magazines.
- 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.
- Soul Cycle’s Chad “String” Stringfellow was born and raised in Sin City, String brings his urban soul to SoulCycle. He has an ear for eclectic music and his playlist inspires riders to “hustle and flow.” To String, SoulCycle has become so much more than just exercise. Whether it’s “Take-on Tuesday”, “Thirsty Thursday”, “Sunday Service” or just a Monday ride… String don’t play! He is big on form and will take the time to make adjustments on both the bike and your body to ensure the optimal riding experience, making sure there is “NO JANK”!
- Geo Derice,one of the New York’s leading motivational speakers for young people, is the youth ambassador for the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. Mr. Derice has spoken to a wide range of students in various settings on behalf of the Museum, including at-risk youth and troubled young people. A Brooklyn native and 2006 graduate of St. John’s University, Mr. Derice has spoken on numerous topics – including anti-bullying, sportsmanship and leadership. Mr. Derice, the son of Haitian immigrants with a compelling personal story, often speaks of his struggles as a young man. He owns a public speaking company, Geo Speaks (geospeaks.com) and is the author of “The Thirst is Real: The Teen’s Guide to Maximizing Your True Potential.”
- Jarret N. Freemanis an award-winning international relations, diplomacy and policy specialist. Experienced in the public, private and non-profit sectors, Mr. Freeman has managed budgets up to $1.2 million and personnel up to 60. Mr. Freeman has maintained a US Department of State security clearance, worked for the Russian American Chamber of Commerce, and conversationally speaks Spanish and Russian.
- Native PhiladelphianCarolyn Giles currently lives and serves the Brooklyn community of East New York as an Area Director for Young Life. Carolyn completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Theater Arts at Bucknell University and Antioch University-McGregor School. She is currently completing a Master of Divinity at Nyack College-Alliance Theological Seminary. Prior to joining Young Life staff, Carolyn enjoyed a twenty-year theater arts teaching career. Most recently, she served as Department Chair of Theater and Middle School Theater Director at The Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY. Additionally, Carolyn serves on the Intercessory Board of Community2Community (C2C), a grassroots organization dedicated to building self-sufficient communities by working alongside the Haitian community of Petit Goâve as they recover from the staggering effects of the 2010 earthquake.
- Noah Brier is the CEO of Percolate, a software company building The System of Record for Marketing. Percolate works with top global brands including Unilever, GE, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and MasterCard. Prior to founding Percolate, Noah ran the strategy department at The Barbarian Group, a digital advertising agency based in NYC. He has been named to Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, a “social media innovator” by BusinessWeek, and sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on social media.
- Mikel Washington is a freelance Digital Art Director and native Harlemite. As an art director he brings a strong artistic background to his work that draws from his past performance experience as both a dancer an actor. During the early dot.com boom in the early 2000s, Mikel sharpened his creative vision and developed his digital skills working at companies such as Organic Interactive, Big Foot and Sony Music. Mikel navigated the dot.com bust and graduated to be a designer for venerable companies such as BET Digital, HBO/Volume.com, Spiegal.com, Bloomingdales.com, and Universal Records. He has also worked for top tier companies such as Young & Rubicam, and has credits from the New York Times, and Indelible Inc. – where we worked on projects for Sears, Scoop NYC, and Verizon. Mikel is currently living and thriving in Harlem where he serves his community as the Harlem Chapter President of the Order of the Feather Fraternity – a rites of passage program for young men.
- Media Veteran, Theron Smith, brings his 25 years of expertise in media to The Kings County Cinema Company LLC. He’s produced and Directed successful Global Television Shows at Cable Networks such as MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and BET. In Cinema, He’s the Cinematographer of Jay-Z’s FADE TO BLACK and has worked with Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Hype Williams and Chris Robinson to name a few. In Television, he’s produced popular shows such as BET Rap City, Yo! MTV Raps, MTV2 Sucker Free and contributed to 106 & Park and Nick Canon’s Wild n Out. Over the past 3 years, he has partnered with various local Non-Profits and Organizations in Brooklyn. He has also developed and conducted over a dozen events and programs that were all free to the community of East New York Brooklyn from which he was raised.
- Mike Derice enters his fifth season with the Colts and his fourth as an area scout with a focus on the Northeast region. He began his tenure in Indianapolis as a scouting assistant in 2012. Prior to joining the Colts, Derice served as the director of football operations (2009-2012) and special assistant to the athletics director (2008-09) at his alma mater, Stony Brook University. He competed as a cornerback with the Seawolves prior to graduating with a bachelor’s degree in health care management. Derice is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. He is married to the former Soleil Manley of Wheatley Heights, N.Y. and the two reside in Mount Sinai, N.Y.
- Cherri Parks Taylor is the front desk manager for Inns at Irving Place, a small, boutique hotel. Accountable for all facets of front office operations with responsibilities that include day-to-day operations of front desk, concierge, bell and housekeeping staffs. sales and marketing, public relations and hosting promotional events.
- Asha Tarry is the CEO of Behavioral Health Consulting Services (BHCS). As a psychotherapist, Asha has provided counseling to hundreds of clients with challenges in several areas of their lives. She has been called upon to discuss mental health issues to both small and large audiences as an expert on health panels, a guest on national radio broadcasts and as a writer & consultant for publications and special projects, including films.
- Jennifer Daniel founded Princess Chambers Inc. to recognize and award young women with free prom dresses, shoes, and accessories to ensure that young women feel confident and elegant during this special time in their lives. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jennifer was instilled with the spirit of community service from childhood. At the age of 7, she started accompanying her mother to pack and deliver fresh groceries to senior citizens every month and continued to do so until she became a pre-teen. Later, she volunteered with ACTS Ministry Inc., a non-profit organization that provides gently used donated furniture/household items to families in need, as their Logistics Coordinator for 5 years and is currently the new membership coordinator.
- Hon. Joanne Quinones graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 1997. Has served as the President of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and is a member of the NY and NJ Bar Associations. In 2010, she was assigned to the Criminal Court of the City of New York, Bronx County, by appointment from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In 2011, Mayor Bloomberg appointed her to the Criminal Court of the City of New York. Her current appointment extends to 2022.
- Angelo Rodriguez was born and raised in Brooklyn and his love for the city is equaled only by his commitment to making NY Casa Group the “go-to” Real Estate firm in Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. Angelo started out as a musician and Masters Degree candidate at St. Francis College when he discovered his love for real estate while trying to raise money for school and his music. After joining the sales team of a prominent Manhattan firm, Angelo decided to commit full time to a career in real estate and in three short years, Angelo was given the opportunity to manage his own sales team. After one year in that capacity, he founded his own real estate company: NY Casa Group.
- Regine Roy is an Educational Consultant, Speaker and the President and Founder of Queen Geniuses, Inc. She is a W. Burghardt Turner Fellow and a graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare. Upon receiving her Bachelors of the Arts in Africana and Women Studies, she studied in Tanzania, East Africa with exiled Black Panthers, Pete and Charlotte O’Neal, who taught her the fundamentals of grassroots organizing and bringing resources and services to low-income communities of color. She went on to work with the Medgar Evers College Center for Women’s Development where she honed her skills in counseling, workshop facilitation and program development. She later on transferred her community building skills into the New York State political arena as the Director of Constituent Affairs for Senator Kevin Parker tending to the needs of the District 21 community that she once grew up in.
- Gordon Chambers: After amassing an impressive collection of prestigious awards and penning hit songs for some of R&B’s most iconic legends such as Anita Baker, Beyonce, Usher, Brownstone, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Patti Labelle, and The Isley Brothers, esteemed award-winning singer-songwriter Gordon Chambers is on the precipice of yet another exciting milestone in his career as a recording artist with the release of his third solo album, Sincere.
- Arshay Cooper is an award winning author, motivational speaker, youth activist, and serve on the board for several community outreach organizations. Arshay has spent his life cultivating a unique set of experiences that make him a much sought after speaker to audiences ranging from professional athletes to High School students. He is highly regarded for his ability to inspire and motivate every audience he encounters. As a national speaker, Arshay audience has included universities, public schools, graduation ceremonies, national conventions, churches, community centers, non-profits, fundraising events, bookstores, rallies, recovery homes, children shelters, juvenile centers, sports teams, UFC fighters, and Former President Bill Clinton. Arshay and his work has been featured on the What TV Show, Good Morning Sacramento, The Record, Boynton Forum, WXXI News, The Voice of Stockton, WDKX Radio, The Tribe, UFC.COM, Palm Beach County Paper, Splash TV, East Coast MMA Show, MPR News, Cover Spy, USRowing, and Rowing News.
- Abdul Muid is a consistent award-winning Associate Real Estate Broker who began his real estate career in 2003 and has achieved substantial success in the Manhattan and Brooklyn markets. Specializing in townhouse and brownstone sales, he has to date proudly closed over $80 million in sales of these very special properties in some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, from Nolita, NoHo, SoHo and TriBeca in Manhattan to Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.
- Will DuBose Practicing in NYC for the past 15 years, Will’s work consists of primarily residential
with a few hand-picked commercial projects. The residential brownstones of the
Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, have become his latest
undertaking. Will DuBose has completed over 254 projects in NYC. His strength:
that he has never forgotten his connection and early training in fine arts. This
coupled with the science of architecture has aided his career to make him a
promising design architect.
- Porscha Scott is a creative visionary and strategic thinker who loves to inspire people and brands. She works with MEC, one of the world’s leading advertising media planning agencies to develop strategic and creative research planning solutions that help connect brands (Tiffany & Co., Marriot, L’Oréal, & Kaplan) to defined target audiences. She’s an expert in translating custom and syndicated research into compelling insights and innovative marketing strategies. She’s charismatic and influential, bringing both passion and her trusted expertise to every consulting engagement.
- Michael Montero is the Co-Founder and Chief Tech Officer at Resy Network, Inc.
- Joe Holder is at the forefront of innovation in health and wellness and has been named one of the top 50 most influential people in the world of fitness and sport. Joe consults and works with some of the top companies in the world including Nike in addition to high profile media, celebrities, and influencers. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he was a stand-out player on the university’s football team, he realized the importance of optimizing health not just to maximize athleticism but also performance off the field. This led to the founding of “The Ocho System”, his health philosophy predicated upon promoting productivity through physical enhancement and overall wellness. Joe has spoken about his philosophy and helping others meet their health goals at Princeton University and Harvard Law School among other locations. He has also been featured in and contributed to such publications as Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, VOGUE, Shape Magazine, Runner’s World, ELLE, Business Insider, and more!
- Chris Williamson is a sports anchor, host, and reporter with SNY. He contributes to the network’s sports & entertainment news programs including “Geico SportsNite” and “Daily News Live.” Williamson, a DC native, most recently came from the nation’s capital where he worked as a sports anchor/ feature sports reporter for WUSA9. Before that, Williamson was a weekend and weekday sports anchor at WSAW/WZAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin. Williamson graduated from Syracuse University at the Newhouse School of Communications with a B.A. in broadcast and digital journalism.
- Curtis Young is an advocate of youth education programs focusing on the arts and opportunity expansion. He joined Artistic Noise in 2017 after more than 10 years working in education at high impact organizations including the International Education Resource Network, where he managed U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs grant programs in five countries and most recently the Ross Institute, whose mission is to transform education and prepare children with the skills, knowledge, and values to succeed in a complex, global society. Curtis currently serves as a member of Manhattan’s Community Board 12 where he sits on the Youth and Education Committee and the Land Use Committee. Additionally, he Chairs the Board of Directors at the Laundromat Project, and is a member of the Maynor Biggers Artist Fund.
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