10th Annual Event Saturday Featuring Inspirational Speakers, Three Honorees

HOBOKEN — The 10th Annual Richard Hicks Black Youth Empowerment will focus on building career-opportunity awareness among young people in Hoboken, with an emphasis on the African-American community. The event will take place starting at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Boys & Girls Club of Hoboken, 123 Jefferson Street, with food and beverages provided by Andy’s Supermarket of Jersey City.

Representatives from the Hoboken police and fire departments, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Stevens Institute of Technology and several other organizations will make presentations on job opportunities, career goals and ways to pursue education and self-empowerment. Other motivational speakers will include Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, STY Academy Organization Founder and Director Luis Acevedo and Minister Shirley M. Dennis.

Three honorees will receive special awards:  Ora Welch, president and CEO of HOPES Inc., will receive an award from the City of Hoboken for her service to the community in helping low-income families empower themselves by expanding their skill sets and developing career paths. Jalin Miles, a 16-year-old student, will be awarded for outstanding academic and athletic achievements and working to help and inspire youth throughout the community. Saquan Williams, a 17-year-old senior at Hoboken High School who has distinguished himself through his academic and extracurricular achievements and his leadership in the STY Academy. The awards will be presented by Hoboken Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini, Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and Housing Authority Commissioner and newly appointed STY Academy Organization Vice President Jake Stuiver, respectively.
MSV asked the new VP, Jake Stuiver to explain the impact of the organization in the Hoboken, “The STY Academy Organization has done great work to help young people, particularly in the Housing Authority community, to stay out of trouble and channel their energy toward creative outlets. Just last night, there was a vigil that’s held annually at Fifth and Jackson streets honoring the memory of a young man who was killed three years ago in gang violence. That incident fueled the momentum behind building the Save the Youth Academy to create more programming to give young people an alternative to gang activity. I have been working closely with the founder and director, Luis Acevedo, on a number of positive programs over the past six months, and because we share a vision for the community and an eagerness to put all our energy and passion behind it, we got to talking about having me join STY in an official capacity, which I am proud and honored to do. And the timing is good, because Luis had been carrying the administrative load for quite some time, and I’m happy to take some of the work off his hands, apply the skills I bring to the table however I can, and help make the organization even more effective.”

Related: The original New York Times story on the death of the young man Ismar “Mooky” Mineros.

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