On February 17th, 2022, Queens Defenders’ Outreach Team visited Village Academy to give an uplifting presentation to students, as well as inform them about our services. 

The Outreach Team consisted of Queens Defenders’ Director of Youth Programs, Brandon Jeffries and Youth Program Assistant, Theodore Robinson, as well as Young Adult Leaders, Andre Hussey, Hector Rodriguez, Amari Leitzsey, and Michael Osemwengie. There were over 100 students present to hear from the Queens Defender Team. 

Andre, Amari, and Hector each spoke about the different services that Queens Defenders can provide for the youth. Andre informed them of QD’s Tutoring Services, Youth Justice Court, and Safe Space – a program located on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway.  

Amari gave information on the Sports for Family Health (SFH) project that is going to be implemented by the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene and community-based organizations starting on March 1st. The SFH project is going to be an approach to turn sports environments into venues for promoting health to the youth and their families.  

Hector gave an uplifting speech about staying on the right path. He used his past negative experiences to encourage the students to make good decisions and let them know to “stay off the streets because it only brings trouble.” He explained the three outcomes of being on the streets: deceased, incarcerated, or living a life with no positive direction.  

Brandon gave uplifting speeches as well, telling the students how they can be anything they want to be in life as long as they put in time and effort towards their goals.  

At the end of the presentation, four students came on stage to show off their best dance moves. The students had a lot of fun, especially when one of the faculty members got on stage and danced as well. Queens Defenders is thankful for the chance to leave a positive and inspirational impact on the students of Village Academy, and we look forward to many students joining QD Programming across the community.