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Wyandanch people: Heath A. Broughton
Heath A. Broughton, 44
Founder, chief operating officer of Man in the Mirror Youth Consulting Service
What are some of your ties to the community?
I am a community activist and leader here.
What made you want to work in the community of Wyandanch?
This is my community and if I don’t take care of it who will? I want to take care of the community that took care of me. I could have been a high risk youth but they embraced me and trained me to give back. I have to pay it forward. It’s a divine purpose for me to be here and working with the youth.
As the community evolves, what’s the most important thing for the people involved to focus on?
The original blueprint of our community has been strayed away from. We need to get back to a sense of hope and pride. We have to come together to work together. There is a lack of purpose, self knowledge and self identity.
What are the biggest challenges the community faces?
People want the same goal, but they don’t want to share the responsibility. The elders, the pillars of the community, need to come together for a common goal. If you have walls around your property, nobody can come in.
How has it changed since you were growing up here?
I left in ’85 for college and when I got back I saw that there started to be a breakdown. I saw division, it was like a strange land. There is no order in the community.
How would you define this community?