What happens to a dream


Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

 ~ Langston Hughes ~

Intelligence plus character -

that is the goal

of true education.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ~


With doubt and dismay

you are smitten

You think there's no chance

for you, (daughter) son?

Why, the best books

haven't been written

The best race hasn't been run,

The best score

hasn't been made yet,

The best song hasn't been sung,

The best tune

hasn't been played yet,

Cheer up, for the world is young!

No chance?

Why the world is just eager

For things that you ought to create

Its store of true wealth is still meagre

Its needs are incessant and great,

It yearns for more power and beauty

More laughter and love and romance,

More loyalty, labor and duty,

No chance--

why there's nothing but chance!

For the best verse

hasn't been rhymed yet,

The best house hasn't been planned,

The highest peak

hasn't been climbed yet,

The mightiest rivers aren't spanned,

Don't worry and fret, faint hearted,

The chances have just begun,

For the Best jobs haven't been started,

The Best work hasn't been done.

~ Berton Braley ~

Courage is more than a daring deed:

It's the breath of life

and a strong woman's creed.

~ Edgar Guest ~

Be the best that you can be

Pursue your goals persistently

Make your fondest dreams come true

and most of all believe in you

Author Unknown

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches on the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops - at all

~ Emily Dickinson ~

My mission in life is not merely

to survive, but to thrive;

and to do so with some passion,

some compassion, some humor,

and some style.

~ Maya Angelou ~

Mistakes are a fact of life.

It is the response to the error

that counts.

~ Nikki Giovanni ~

With the new day comes

new strength and new thoughts.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

​I used to want the words

"She Tried" on my tombstone.

Now I want "She Did It." 

~ Katherine Dunham ~

The question is not whether

we can afford to invest
in every child; it is whether

we can afford not to. 

~ Marian Wright Edelman ~

Never underestimate the

power of dreams

and the influence

of the human spirit.

We are all the same

in this notion:
The potential for greatness

lives within each of us.
~ Wilma Rudolph ~

Whatever we believe

about ourselves
and our ability

comes true for us. 

~ Susan L. Taylor ~

Never be limited by

other people's limited


~ Dr. Mae Jemison ~


Success is to be measured

not so much by the position

that one has reached in life

as by the obstacles which

he (she)

has overcome

while trying to succeed.

~ Booker T. Washington ~

Hold fast to dreams,

for if dreams die,

life is a broken winged bird

that cannot fly.

~ Langston Hughes ~

Education is the passport

to the future, for tomorrow

belongs to those

who prepare for it today.

~ Malcolm X ~

The time is always right

to do what is right.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King ~

No one can make you feel


without your consent.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

The most common way

people give up their power

is by thinking

they don’t have any.

~ Alice Walker ~

Keep your face

to the sunshine and you

can never see the shadow.

~ Helen Keller ~

Don’t count the days,

make the days count.

~ Muhammad Ali ~

One of the lessons that I

grew up with was

to always stay true

to yourself and never let

what somebody else says

distract you from your goals.

~ Michelle Obama ~

Surround yourself

with only people who

are going to lift you higher.

~ Oprah Winfrey ~

It’s not the load

that breaks you down,

it’s the way you carry it.

~ Lena Horne ~

Princess E. Parker, MA

Program Coordinator and Clinician - John Hill School - Boonton, New Jersey

Biographical Sketch

Princess E. Parker received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amberton University in Garland, Texas. She is currently working for Effective School Solutions as the Program Coordinator and Clinician at John Hill School in Boonton, New Jersey. She has 14 years of experience counseling children, youth, and families within various communities including psychiatric facilities, military populations, youth centers, and educational environments.
Her motivation in working in this field is to provide the individual client with support and tools needed to navigate life's challenges successfully.  Mrs. Parker committed to improving the quality of life of each individual client through improved mental health and better interpersonal skills and relationships.


Deputy Executive Director - Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc.
Mt. Vernon, New York

Biographical Sketch:

Denise West has been working in the health and social service community for thirty years. She entered the social service field, starting as a clinical counselor for the Addiction Research and Treatment Corp., a multi-faceted citywide substance abuse agency. She was part of a specialized therapeutic team, serving as the primary therapist to a caseload of 50 multi-substance abusing clients.
In 1984, she accepted the position of Clinical Director at the citywide agency Community Health Care Network, Inc., formerly known as Community Family Planning Council. She worked at their United Parents Clinic, located in Brooklyn, for the next 6 years. As part of senior management, she was responsible for directing, managing, and analyzing all clinical activities including program development and implementation, clinical services, community health education, and outreach programs. Under her direction, the program expanded their services to include: on-site WIC enrollment, anonymous and confidential HIV testing, prenatal care services, and a male involvement program. It also became the agency’s training site for new nurses.  
It was while she was working at the Community Health Care Network that she became one of the founding members of the Brooklyn Comprehensive Perinatal Taskforce. She was the group leader for the Brownsville workgroup which developed and administered a community needs assessment. In 1988, when the Taskforce became incorporated, she too was voted in on the Council (which served as the Board of Directors) and elected chairperson of the Finance Committee. In 1990, she resigned her position at the Community Health Care Network and joined the staff of Brooklyn Perinatal Network as Assistant Director. 
Ms. West has remained with Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc. since 1990, working in various management capacities within the organization. She has served as Deputy Executive Director since 2004, responsible for the administration of all program development and administration, contract negotiations, proposal writing, evaluation and needs analysis, marketing and public promotion activities, and community collaborations. She directed the NYS Facilitated Enrollment Program for the last 12 years and directs the new Affordable Care Act / NYSOH program. She ensures that this program coordinates with the other BPN programs and other community based organizations.


Assistant District Attorney for the Office of the Monroe County District Attorney

Rochester, New York

Biographical Sketch:

Shani C. Mitchell was born and raised in southwest Rochester, NY.  She matriculated through the Rochester Public Schools.  In 1991, she graduated from Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School.  In 1995, she graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.  She continued her education, after college, by obtaining her law degree from Florida State University College of Law, in Tallahassee, Florida.  After graduating from law school, she joined the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, where she prosecuted felony crimes for seven years.  While in this office, she was awarded the Ahmed Dabarran Community Service Award for her commitment to serving the community.

After leaving the District Attorney’s Office, she opened her own law practice.  Her law practice included the practice of criminal defense, family law, and personal injury. While in private practice, she obtained her Master’s in Criminal Justice from Boston University.  After two and a half years of private practice, she realized that her heart lied with prosecution.  Thus, she returned to prosecution by joining the Office of the Clayton County Solicitor General, in Jonesboro, Georgia (southern suburb of Atlanta). 

While in private practice, she began teaching part-time.  When an opportunity arose, she decided to try her hand at teaching full-time.  She taught for Atlanta Technical College and SUNY Canton.  She taught paralegal and criminal justice students, respectively.

Her desire to return to her hometown of Rochester, NY, led her back to her first love of prosecution.  Currently, she is an Assistant District Attorney for the Office of the Monroe County District Attorney. 

Shani is married and is the mother of a twelve-year-old son, and a step-mother to four wonderful girls.  She is President of the Rochester Black Bar Association, an organization that supports the efforts of African-American and other minority attorneys in Monroe County.  Her family are members of First Genesis Baptist Church.

Two-Term Mayor of Rochester, New York

Former Rochester City Council President
Rochester, New York

Biographical Sketch:

Lovely Warren is the two-term Mayor of Rochester, New York.  In 2014, she was sworn in as the first female and second African-American Mayor for the City of Rochester (NY).  In her bid for a second term as mayor, she defeated her challengers by obtaining a 60% advantage (November 2017).

Warren was born and raised in Rochester and graduated from Wilson Magnet High School.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University. In 2004, she was admitted to the bar and later became a Past President of the local Black Bar Association.

Her entry into politics began in 2007, when she became a member of the Rochester City Council.  Within three years, she was voted President of the City Council, carving a place in Rochester history as its youngest City Council President ever.

Warren is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has received numerous recognitions and awards during her professional life.  She is married to Timothy Granison, and they have a young daughter.  The family resides in the Northeast section of Rochester (NY).