The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has named Glen Cove resident Naquasia Pinchback as its New York State Youth of the Year, the highest honor the Boys & Girls Clubs can bestow on a member.
Pictured are Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi, Senator Carl L. Marcellino, Naquasia Pinchback, proud grandmother Bridget Ross, executive director Victoria Williams and Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine.
An active member and part-time employee of the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club at Lincoln House, Naquasia was honored on Friday, April 18 by elected officials, club staff, friends, family and club members in a recognition ceremony held at the club, located on Glen Cove Avenue.
Naquasia is a charming, unassuming young woman, whose quiet demeanor masks a strong, energetic and generous spirit and a dedication to community. She is a Glen Cove High School senior who consistently achieves academic excellence and is a member of the Select Chorale. At the club, her focus is on academics and she has created an innovative system to work with students who need extra help with mathematics.
Naquasia said, "It's been both an honor and a privilege to be affiliated with a public-serving organization such as the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club at Lincoln House. I know that my title as the New York State Youth of the Year has and will open doors for me, but I plan to use it only for the betterment of my clubhouse, which I thank for seeing something in me that I did not originally see in myself."
Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Victoria Williams, sporting a proud smile, called Naquasia a "pathmaker for our younger children," and said she is "thrilled for Naquasia and very proud of her."
Glen Cove Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi, State Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine (D-Glen Cove) and State Senator Carl L Marcellino (R-Syosset) were also on hand to honor the Youth of the Year.
Mayor Suozzi said, "We are proud to recognize Naquasia for her achievements and her participation in the Glen Cove community. She represents a positive role model for students and her peers at the Boys & Girls Club and she is a great example of someone who has come through the public school system and achieved great things both inside and outside of her school environment. We are proud to call her a Glen Cover." He added that Naquasia embodies all that is good about Glen Cove and is thankful that she is willing to "share her gifts with her community." The mayor presented Naquasia with a citation from the City of Glen Cove.
"It makes me proud that this young lady from my hometown is being recognized statewide," Assemblyman Lavine said. "She serves as a great role model for her peers and younger students, too." After performing a bit of sleight of hand for the younger club members, the assemblyman said that true magic is "right here in our hometown, here at the Boys & Girls Club, where very special things happen." He, too, had a citation for the honoree, from the New York State Assembly, and he told Naquasia that "Wherever you go, know that you have the pride of your community with you."
In addition to a citation from the New York State Senate, Senator Marcellino presented Naquasia with a framed photograph taken at the Senate. In the photo were the senator, Naquasia and Assemblyman Lavine. In a bit of bi-partisan camaraderie, Senator Marcellino joked that he had considered "cropping" the assemblyman from the photo, but integrity trumped politics and the picture was presented as taken. The senator said he was proud to honor Naquasia and called her "an excellent representative, not just of the city, not just of the state, but of the Boys & Girls Clubs." He added his praise for the work that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America does for the country's youth. He cited as an example a colleague in the senate, stating that the fellow senator credited the club as "keeping him on the straight and narrow" during a difficult childhood, helping him attain a successful and productive life. "Now he's a state senator," Senator Marcellino told the crowd of youngsters, a crowd which just might have among it a future mayor, assemblyman, senator, or even president.
Naquasia will be moving on to the regional competition this July. She will be attending St. John's University in the fall on a full scholarship and would like to be an attorney. Whatever Naquasia Pinchback ultimately decides to do in life, one can rest assured she will do it with success, refinement and concern for her fellow man.