Actors Dalmar Abuzeid and Raymond Ablack, stars of the "Degrassi" TV show, stopped by the second annual Hudson Youth Leadership Academy, a social justice camp held this June at SUNY Rockland Community College. Abuzeid and Ablack spoke to students in middle school, high school, and college about civic responsibility and community service.
Left to right: Dalmar Abuzeid (Danny on "Degrassi"); Sofie La Rosa and Ariana Chousa of Waldwick, NJ; and Raymond Ablack (Sav on "Degrassi")
The second annual Hudson Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) was held at SUNY Rockland Community College June 26-28.
HYLA is a social justice-themed day camp designed to give young people the knowledge and tools to help develop their leadership skills and encourage civic responsibility and community service. The middle school, high school, and college freshman students who participated in the three-day event attended workshops and learned how social issues affect young people in their own communities and around the world.
A special guest appearance was made by two cast members of "Degrassi," a television series about high school students. Actors Dalmar Abuzeid (Danny) and Raymond Ablack (Sav) spoke about their personal leadership experiences in Ecuador and Haiti.
Some of the camp activities and events included: a presentation by Erin Barton-Chery, Haiti Projects Director, who spoke about Haiti's recovery from the 2010 earthquake; an interactive experience led by facilitators from Free the Children; and workshops presented by the Rockland Family Shelter, The Holocaust Museum, and SHARE, a program that works to expand access to HIV prevention, treatment, and services through workplace programs. Other activities included musical and dance presentations and a barbecue.
Students were inspired to think about how they could help make life better for others. "I think I will become much more active as a change-maker in my community and hopefully the world," said Ryan Zohar of Tappan. Zack Reiter of Tappan added, "[The camp] opened my mind to the potential in myself and my actions."