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Page 14
THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016
The Rockaway Times
JeffreyWilliams-Maisonet: YoungMan on aMission
By KatieMcFadden
A young Arverne man is look-
ing to change his community and
the reputation of local youth for
the better. Jeffrey Williams-Mai-
sonet, 21, is a young man on a
mission. Not only is he going
to school and operating a news
blog, but he has big plans in the
works to start a community youth
nonprofit and produce a docu-
mentary shedding light on the
struggles of local youth and fail-
ing schools.
Williams-Maisonet says he’s
been interested in community
affairs since a young age. “My
parents were actively involved in
the community and they knew
a lot about what was going on.
They would take me to a lot of
meetings when I was a baby and
I thought it was cool, so as I got
older, I wanted to get more in-
volved and make a change,” he
said. In 2013, he joined the Rock-
away Youth Task Force. “Right
after Sandy, I saw how they were
going door to door and helping
people and I thought if they had
more people, they could reach
out tomorepeople, so Iwanted to
be a part of it,” he said.The group
turned out not to be what he ex-
pected. “After a while, I started
to not like what I was seeing. The
leader,MilanTaylor, became very
aggressive toward us, demand-
ing more things and there was
no more having fun while doing
things for the community. It be-
came like a dictatorship and a
lot of us were afraid to speak up,”
he explained. After leaving the
group, Williams-Maisonet claims
he was harassed by Taylor in an
incident that led him to file a po-
lice report.
Afraid of the repercussions of
speaking about his ordeal, Wil-
liams-Maisonet remained silent
until a year-and-a-half later. In
December 2015, he launched
his news blog RockawayPrime-
time.net “As I got older, I became
more aware of what was going on
in the community. I got fed up
with all of the nonsense, politics
and problems and I wanted to do
something about it. I created this
website to tell stories that people
don’t hear all the time,” he said.
Williams-Masionet began with
his own story, explaining his ex-
perience with RYTF and Milan
Taylor. His story spread across
social media and gained a lot of
support.Whenhe’s not attending
college at BMCC, Williams-Mai-
sonet actively attends meetings,
analyzes press releases, inter-
views politicians and community
members and continues to ac-
tively report information on his
website.
Rockaway Primetime is just the
start for Jeffrey. “Since that day I
told my story, something excit-
ed me and made me want to do
more. The support showed that
people know there’s a problem
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Continued on page 24
Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet