- Special Projects
College student James Polite remembers when he had every reason to give up.
Ostracized by his family for being gay, he said he was kicked out of his Brooklyn home at age 13 and placed in foster care. He said his mother told him he deserved to be disowned.
But his fortune changed a year later after a chance meeting with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who offered him an opportunity to intern in her office. The two say they quickly developed an emotional bond that’s deepened over the last six years. Quinn has since paid for some of Polite’s living expenses and helped him get into Brandeis University.
Bronx kids who want play ball in a new league would have to abide by the No. 1 rule: Give back to the community.
The proposed Community Board Athletic Leadership League – C-BALL – would require participants, boys and girls ages seven to 17, to regularly attend community board meetings. Abdul “Sleep” Johnson, the founder of C-BALL, brought together community board officials from the around the borough March 15th to launch a campaign aimed at starting the league by next year.
“This is a league like no other,” said Johnson, a Community Board 3 member and founder of Yo! Magazine, a publication produced by children in after-school programs.
Five classrooms at a Head Start center in Woodside are filled with young children learning to read, write and count.
In one classroom, students sing in English, Spanish and Bengali and dance to “La Bamba.”
The coming months could see fewer low-income families in the area receive childcare and early childhood education services because of federal budget reductions. Many of the families include immigrants from Latin America and South Asia.
The cuts are part of sweeping federal budget reductions known as the sequester.