Posted by: Regina | November 27, 2007

LL Cool J’s Hero

I was watching CNN tonight and they’re running a series called CNN Heros. Tonight they featured LL Cool J talking about a hero of his.

His hero is Reverend Floyd Flake who moved to LL’s neighborhood of Queens, NYC 30 years ago. Here is an exerpt from the CNN article featuring Rev. Flake.

Flake first came to this part of New York 30 years ago when many residents thought the community was “going to the dogs,” as he puts it.

“There were serious problems of young people getting good education,” Flake says. “There [were] problems of home ownership … People didn’t want to stay. People were moving back to the South, making decisions to move to the suburbs.”

To turn the tide of public opinion, Flake invested in the things he believed people needed most — education and home ownership. He wanted to empower every member of the community from youngest to oldest, so first he built a senior complex, and then founded a school in its basement. That school now educates more than 700 kids in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Flake says most of those students continue on to high school and college.

According to Flake’s organization, since 1980, he and his church have built nearly 700 housing units and 166 two-family homes in southeast Queens. Most of those homes were sold to first-time home buyers. Flake and his church have also helped bring in more than 3,000 jobs.

Watch LL Cool J describe the importance of community

Impressive and most definitely positive change.

Source: CNN.com – Rebuilding LL Cool J’s old neighborhood

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