Growing up in South Jamaica, it was either you get a summer job or you hang out at the park all day. Even at a young age, I knew the latter wasn’t for me. When I was 16, I applied for SYEP (Summer Youth Employment Program) and landed my first job working at a QCH Summer Camp in Forest Hills.
I started drawing and painting again in 2011 - it was something I really enjoyed when I was young but lost interest in during my late teens. During that rediscovery, Frank Ape was born in my consciousness. The initial concept was a creature similar to a human but not qui
Before I started attending the QCH All Starz afterschool program at Halsey, JHS 157, I had never played soccer a day in my life. A few months after I started the program, I realized I loved to play and was getting really good at it.
On September 11, 2001 I turned on the TV and saw a plane had just struck the World Trade Center. My husband was in the basement of the North Tower at the time. I called him and we spoke briefly. He made it out at 9:30, just before the building collapsed. Many of his friends didn’t make it.
QCH opened up a Beacon Program in my Junior High School when I was in 8th grade. The program offered a safe space to hang out with friends and get advice from counselors. It’s exactly what I needed at the time, so my friends and I joined. That was twenty years ago.
I found out about Generation Q when I walked by one day and saw a rainbow flag taped to a door not too far from my home. I immediately looked it up online and found out it was a program for LGBTQ youth and that anyone 13 or older could join.
This is my first year attending the Beacon Afterschool Program at JHS 190, and I haven’t missed a single day yet. Even if I’m sick, I still go to the program. There’s always something you can learn, and I like to learn.