The Rev. Leslie Duroseau has gotten to the age where she appreciates a brand, new car.
“I’ve been stuck on the side of the road too many times in broken down, used cars,” Duroseau told the crowd of students, educators and parents who attended the recent Jubilee Day celebration at the First Baptist Church in Riverhead.
Best-selling cars, Duroseau said, have earned a reputation for excellence because their “brand” is associated with long-term success and high performance standards. The same is true in life, she said.
“Know who you are,” she told the students. “Identify your brand, your vision, and put it into action. You have to decide what brand you want to be – and it starts here.”
Duroseau, the new pastor at the Southampton United Methodist Church, spoke at the annual event organized by the Eastern Long Island Branch of the NAACP that spotlights young people who made the honor roll.
More than 500 students were invited to receive certificates and over 100 attended this year’s ceremony on March 19, said Joaquin Mendez, director of the English as a second language program in the Southampton School District.
Students from every East End school district received recognition, with especially large turnouts from the Riverhead School District and the Little Flower School in Wading River.
"This is a real celebration,” Mendez told the students. “We are so very proud of you. You are the reason we are here."
Lucius Ware, president of the Eastern Long Island branch of the NAACP, said Jubilee Day is held to honor the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the freedom of slaves in the United States.
Parents and grandparents crowded to take photos of their shining stars.
“I’m very proud of her,” said Mamie Lawson, who was there to see her granddaughter Mattituck High School student Adrianna Lawson be honored. “She’s a good girl, a good student.”
Pictured above: East Ends students were honored by the NAACP during the recent Jubilee Day celebration at the First Baptist Church in Riverhead. (March 19, 2011)