Keim and his fellow B2 Dancerettes performed in the M.S. 72 Basie Beacon program’s Black History Showcase. Back row from left to right: Crystal, Jaylah, Jalayah, Brianna, Leah, and Savannah. Front row: Keim and Nevaeh
My name is Keim, and I’m 14 years old. I started M.S. 72 in September 2019 when I was in sixth grade. I joined The Child Center of NY Beacon afterschool program as well.
I can admit that I was not the best student in school or afterschool, and I can admit that I made a lot of bad decisions. I used to feel that fighting people was cool because it made me fit in, and people accepted me. I would bully people, instigate, and provoke others. I maintained failing grades, but I didn’t care.
Then in 2021, I developed a love for dance with The Child Center of NY afterschool dance program. All the things I didn’t care about suddenly meant the world to me. It was during this time that I realized that I was now in the eighth grade and I needed to care more about myself and my future. Several people helped me reach this decision. All of a sudden, I realized how so many people in my life who were giving me guidance were so right about everything. My sixth-grade teacher, Ms. Cannon, would always tell me how I was worth more than fighting someone every day. My dance instructor in afterschool, Daquan Harris, really opened my eyes more than anyone.
I still struggle with my school work and attendance; my grades were still failing from the beginning of this school year. My dance instructor learned about this problem and worked with me to resolve the issues. For the first time in the history of my middle school experience, I passed all of my classes on my last report card. Funny but true, if I didn’t pass, my dance instructor told me that I would not be able to be on the dance team. Not being on the team was not an option because I love to dance. It’s the only way I feel that I can express myself.
Mets reps from the Black Professionals and LatinX Employee Resource Groups connect with Queens youth at our Basie Beacon program at M.S. 72
Introducing youth to new possibilities is a key way The Child Center of NY works to increase high school graduation rates — one of The Child Center’s central goals — and get young people excited about preparing for their future.
On February 5, The Child Center of NY collaborated with the NY Mets and the Queens District Attorney’s Office to host a career panel at our Basie Beacon Program at Catherine and Count Basie Middle School 72 in Jamaica. Continue reading
Queens natives inspire a new generation at our Parsons Beacon afterschool program
The Child Center of NY prioritizes hiring people from the neighborhoods we serve and providing relatable role models that convey to our children just how much they are capable of achieving.
Our Parsons Beacon afterschool program’s “Just a Kid from Queens” virtual speaker series, which ran from December to June, highlighted Queens natives who are doing amazing things with their lives and gave participants a unique opportunity to ask questions, learn about fulfilling career paths, and connect their current lives to the future they envision. Equally important, the young people in the program learned how people like them faced challenges, both personal and societal, and met with success. Continue reading
Basie Beacon M.S. 72 Celebrates Black History Month
“History in the Making: The Soul of the Youth” lit up the stage at The Child Center of NY’s Beacon program at Catherine & Count Basie Middle School 72 on Friday, February 3, kicking off Black History Month with a diverse array of performances and readings by students of all ages. Jaylin, who served as the student emcee for the evening, announced quietly before making his way to the front to introduce the first act: “I’m scared.” But the middle-schooler seemed far from frightened as the evening went on, offering casual and astute commentary after each performance. Continue reading