In commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national day of service, State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) hosted a STEM / tech event in Far Rockaway on January 20, 2020. It was a full day of workshops, panel discussions and resource tables as well as entertainment - all aimed at encompassing the vision presented in Dr. King’s famous speech, “What is your Life’s Blueprint?” The event was co-sponsored by Assembly Members Clyde Vanel and Alicia Hyndman.
"Dr. King famously spoke about having a blueprint for life that includes the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor, so it is only fitting that we honor his legacy with an educational event that will help community be prepared for a technologically advanced future,” Sanders said. “The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day Jr. is a day of service and we are proud to be serving Southeast Queens and beyond with this STEM focused event."
More than 100 people of all ages, both youth and seniors, attended the event. It was great to see the different generation learning together, side by side. The workshops tackled subjects like online banking, financial literacy and the environment. The green-themed classes explored wind energy by having attendees make and test fan blades out of different materials while another class explored creating new green spaces in one’s own neighborhood by using Google Earth. In the area of technology sessions on block coding and how to use Microsoft Office were offered. There was even an opportunity to learn about aviation. The Black Pilots of America discussed how to get a pilot’s license.
Even though it was an education-rich day, there was still plenty of time for entertainment with performances by Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter, Anslem Douglas, a hip-hop routine by Rok Nation Dance Team, an interactive magic presentation by Wayne Superius Garland of Superius Magic, and 11-year-old child advocate Obocho Peters, who recited Dr. King’s “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” speech. He is also the CEO of a thrift store in Brooklyn that sells gently used children’s clothing and he shared the secrets of his success.
“Today was an incredible day of learning and togetherness,” Sanders said. “If Dr. King were alive today he would be proud to see all of the great things we have done here in his honor."
Senator Sanders would like to thank all of the community partners and volunteers who helped make this event a success. We would also like to thank Village Academy / MS 53 / Success Academy for allowing us to use their space to host the event.