Project Excel: No Excuses!

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” – Mr. Malik Champlain, the evening's keynote speaker.
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” – Mr. Malik Champlain, the evening's keynote speaker.
District Project Excel Program Coordinator David Perkins (sixth from right) introduces this year’s interns that were congratulated by keynote speaker Mr. Malik Champlain.
District Project Excel Program Coordinator David Perkins (sixth from right) introduces this year’s interns that were congratulated by keynote speaker Mr. Malik Champlain.
Social Work Intern Ashley Smith at the podium and Daniela Venegas talk about the great programs that have become a trademark of Project Excel. They reminded parents that the next meeting is Monday, November 6th at Maplewood 6PM.
Social Work Intern Ashley Smith at the podium and Daniela Venegas talk about the great programs that have become a trademark of Project Excel. They reminded parents that the next meeting is Monday, November 6th at Maplewood 6PM.
District Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jacci Harris greets the audience and emphasizes this year’s theme: ‘No excuses, we are unstoppable in reaching our goals.’  She took a moment to talk to the many parents in the audience about their commitment to the program.
District Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jacci Harris greets the audience and emphasizes this year’s theme: ‘No excuses, we are unstoppable in reaching our goals.’ She took a moment to talk to the many parents in the audience about their commitment to the program.

On Monday, October 2nd, our community celebrated the Project Excel opening orientation. This special program, coordinated by Mr. David Perkins, provides job training, mentoring, and academic assistance to our district students. Its mission is to: Enhance academic success, build character in students, and engage parents to promote our shared vision. In his welcome address, Mr. Perkins introduced this year’s theme “No excuses, we are unstoppable in reaching our goals.”  The evening’s guests were treated to some wonderful words from motivational speaker and author Mr. Malik Champlain.

“Three main principals– Passion, Hunger, and Drive are intrinsic factors that students need to have to overcome obstacles that prevent them from reaching their goals,” said the Brooklyn-born keynote speaker who is now married, a father, and a home-owner in the greater Hartford area of Connecticut.  “Tonight I am going to share with our Project Excel families building blocks to help them achieve their goals.”

Mr. Champlain had a real struggle to get to where he is, and his powerful story resonates with today’s youth. ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do,’ he often reminds himself.  A firm believer in ‘giving more than you take,’ Mr. Champlain, speaking directly to our parents in the audience, told them that “The same building blocks that their children are going to need to reach their goals are the same ones parents will need to reinforce.  Good supervision is when parents see their child veer off the path and quickly get them back on the right path.”

Thank you to all of our service providers—Boy Scouts of America, Family Service League, Girl Scouts, Huntington Resource Center, Huntington Youth Bureau-Project Excel, Long Island Head-Start, St. Joseph’s College, and the Tri Community and Youth Agency, to our School Coordinators— Mr. Ian Denson at Birchwood, Ms. Maria Colon at Maplewood, Mr. Shaka Williams at Silas Wood, Ms. Jennifer DeNoble at Stimson and Mr. Roberto Torres at Walt Whitman, to our district mentors, and this year’s interns— Nicholas Aprigliano, Wesly Bazemore, Kristie Bohn, Lisbel Collado, Marc Etts, Maria Jaramillo, Robert O’Neil, Michael Rivera, Jonathan Rosen, Maria Seslowsky, Ashley N. Smith, Bridget Vaher, Daniela Venegas, and Ana Alicia Walsh. These educators and community advocates do wonderful things for our students. 

It looks like another great year to come for our Project Excel students and their families.