Bronx Children’s Museum Dream Big Event at Hostos Community College Featured Speakers include Surgeon General Benjamin and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor By Giovanny Pinto
President Felix Matos Rodriguez hosted a festive culmination of The Bronx Children’s Museum’s Dream Big Initiative at Hostos Community College. The guests of honor U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor were joined by U.S. Congressman Jose Serrano and publisher Richard Stein, a leading proponent in establishing the Museum.
The Dream Big Initiative works with children from local community-based programs and motivates youngsters to dream big and work hard to accomplish their goals. The theme of the program for this year was health and the children partook in arts and dance classes from local organizations such as Pregones Theater and ¡Retumba!
Dr. Felix Matos Rodriguez, Hostos Community College President, stressed the dedicated role of the College in building and promoting community resources such as the Children’s Museum, and to encourage the children to feel pride as they achieve their full potential.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was born and raised in the Bronx and whose mother attended Hostos, lauded the kids of the Dream Big Initiative for taking charge of their lives and their health. She described moments of her own childhood, including living with her grandmother, dealing with type 1 diabetes, learning how to inject herself with insulin, and growing up in the projects. She stressed that the children could overcome their own adversity as she did if they possessed the drive to succeed. Dr. Benjamin concurred by talking about her experiences in the primary care clinic she founded in a small town in the Mobile, Ala. area. The clinic was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and then, the day before reopening in 2006, it burned down. Despite these setbacks, she continued treating her patients—many of whom didn’t have other access to primary health care—in their homes until the clinic was rebuilt.
Dr. Benjamin had a special request for the adults at the event. “I hope you will continue to support programs like the Bronx Children’s Museum,” said Benjamin. “We need these types of programs and places for them to learn, have fun, and be inspired to become Supreme Court Justices and Surgeon Generals,” she said.
After remarks by all notable guests and a slideshow showcasing the five-week program, the children performed dance and drama pieces for the audience.
The Bronx Children’s Museum is slated to open in late 2013. The Bronx is currently the only borough in New York City that lacks a children’s museum. Until the opening, the Museum has launched the Mobile Art Bus dubbed the ‘BCM ON THE GO BUS’ that has been transporting exhibits and programs throughout the borough.
See a video of the event, including an exclusive interview with Hostos Community College President Felix Matos Rodriguez at www.educationupdate.com. #