Courtesy of James Polite
HELPING HAND: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn befriended James Polite, offering him an internship, helping him get into college and paying some of his living expenses after, he says, his family kicked him out because he is gay.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
College student James Polite remembers when he had every reason to give up.
Ostracized by his family for being gay, he said he was kicked out of his Brooklyn home at age 13 and placed in foster care. He said his mother told him he deserved to be disowned.
But his fortune changed a year later after a chance meeting with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who offered him an opportunity to intern in her office. The two say they quickly developed an emotional bond that’s deepened over the last six years. Quinn has since paid for some of Polite’s living expenses and helped him get into Brandeis University.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
Bronx kids who want play ball in a new league would have to abide by the No. 1 rule: Give back to the community.
The proposed Community Board Athletic Leadership League – C-BALL – would require participants, boys and girls ages seven to 17, to regularly attend community board meetings. Abdul “Sleep” Johnson, the founder of C-BALL, brought together community board officials from the around the borough March 15th to launch a campaign aimed at starting the league by next year.
“This is a league like no other,” said Johnson, a Community Board 3 member and founder of Yo! Magazine, a publication produced by children in after-school programs.
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Five classrooms at a Head Start center in Woodside are filled with young children learning to read, write and count.
In one classroom, students sing in English, Spanish and Bengali and dance to “La Bamba.”
The coming months could see fewer low-income families in the area receive childcare and early childhood education services because of federal budget reductions. Many of the families include immigrants from Latin America and South Asia.
The cuts are part of sweeping federal budget reductions known as the sequester.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
The director of a charter high school set to open next fall in Bushwick doesn’t mind offering delivery service.
“I tell everyone, ‘I will come to your house and pick up the application myself,’” said Arthur Samuels of MESA Charter High School. “And I’ve done that.”
The 34-year-old Harvard Law School and Columbia Teachers alum, whose full-time teaching experience consists of seven years working on college enrollment in West Roxbury, Mass and New York City charter high schools, says he’s ready to offer up his school to neighborhood parents.