Statement of Child Center CEO Traci Donnelly on the Passing of Former Borough President Helen Marshall

On behalf of everyone at The Child Center of NY, I want to express my deepest sadness on the passing of former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

Borough President Marshall was a champion for Queens and, most especially, a champion for youth. The Child Center of NY was honored to partner with her to coordinate the Queens Borough President’s Youth Board, ACT for Youth, and other initiatives that helped young people of all backgrounds believe in their own bright futures and work to achieve them. Borough President Marshall knew how important it was to give young people a voice and actually provided The Child Center with office space in her wing, which I think reflects so meaningfully the special place she had in her heart for youth who needed to be heard. She gave these initiatives more than just lip service — she gave them her heart and soul, and people felt it. So many children and teens were touched personally by these initiatives and feel the positive impact to this day.

The first African American to serve as Queens Borough President, Ms. Marshall set a standard for others to follow, demonstrating by her own example that hard work, passion, and a hopeful spirit are an unbeatable combination.

The outpouring of tributes and fond memories from residents all over the borough speaks volumes to the kind of woman Borough President Marshall was, and what a noble, and treasured, endeavor public service can be. Although I didn’t have the honor of working with Ms. Marshall directly, her legacy looms large at The Child Center, where staff and clients have been deeply influenced by their work with her.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to Borough President Marshall’s family, and to all those whose lives she touched.

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