The journey toward college isn’t easy. Life throws plenty of obstacles at young people. Something Congressman Hakeem Jeffries — a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing New York’s 8th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens — knows all about.
Jeffries visited SJC Brooklyn to speak to prospective college students enrolled in the Boys Hope Girls Hope Summer Enrichment Academy (SEA). Offering words of advice, and motivation for those high school students looking to attend a college or university, Congressman Jeffries presented a lecture on the importance of civic engagement.
“When the Congressman said that there is a difference between a knockout and being knocked down, it stuck with me,” said Betsy, a student enrolled in the SEA. “Because I have been knocked down many times but then after a while I got back up again and kept on trying.”
For the fourth consecutive year, SJC Brooklyn hosted the SEA. An international organization centered on cultivating youth empowerment through education and holistic support, Boys Hope Girls Hope works with St. Joe’s to provide specialized support to prepare students for success during, and after, high school.
“Now, more than ever, young people need to appreciate their civic responsibilities and how to speak truth to power,” said Enuma Menkiti, chief program officer of Boys Hope Girls Hope. “Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York staff and students were grateful to have Congressman Jeffries speak to the SEA community and share with us his experiences and advice.”
SEA helps students become proficient in the essential skills for college and life by providing core classes in English and math as well as supplemental classes in financial literacy, professional skills, leadership development and social justice. The purpose of SEA is to ease the transition of incoming scholars as they progress into the next academic year and to prevent summer learning loss in returning scholars.
“Civic engagement is the cornerstone of our great democracy,” said Congressman Jeffries. “I welcomed the opportunity to speak with the young leaders of Boys Hope Girls Hope.”