Thank You For Your Service, Near and Far

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Even when duty calls, the work never stops. Lakia Echols, a strong advocate for Far Rockaway youth, has been called to duty, deploying with the U.S. Army to the hot desert, Kuwait. However, despite being gone, Echols says her efforts to help the youth will keep going.

As founder of MakeMyMotherProud (MMMP) and the director of The Child Center of NY Redfern Cornerstone, Echols’ work to help disadvantaged youth never stops. Between the Center and MMMP, Echols and others strive to give opportunities to kids that come from struggling backgrounds or those that live below the poverty line.

Despite possibly being gone for almost a year due to her deployment, Echols says her work at home will not be put on pause. Among its many offerings, MMMP offers tutoring services, and this summer, they will kick off their first summer tutoring program to help prepare students from grades K-12 for the school year ahead. The organization has teacher and student tutors that can help kids in any subject. Also, on July 20, MMMP’s vice president will be hosting an All Girls Jump Challenge in Bayswater Park. MMMP is also known for its annual Santa’s Sleigh Run around the holidays, which will go on as planned this year on December 21. For info on how to volunteer, look out for updates on the MakeMyMotherProud Facebook page.

As a hardworking activist in the community, the news of Echols’ absence may be upsetting to some, but Echols says the opportunity will give her the time to work even harder for Redfern. "This deployment will be a great opportunity for me to help do more for the community and especially Redfern,” Echols said. “Thank you all for the fight with getting me back in the Center in 2017. That was the most traumatic experience, but also it was the most heartwarming experience to see how people can come together to appreciate your work and to fight to have you back. Even though I may be gone for almost a year, I pray what I have started will continue and if things are going good when I come home, then it’s my time to move on to other areas in need.”

Some other goals Echols hopes to make happen is to have a building to offer more services and to kickstart a Manny Fiallo Foundation, in honor of her late friend and fellow activist, who provided many opportunities for the youth in Far Rockaway before he died in May 2017.

For more information on the summer tutoring services, Santa’s Sleigh Run or any of the other events and services offered by MMMP, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or follow MakeMyMotherProud on Facebook, MakeMyMotherProud_Queens on Instagram, or MMMProud_Queens on Twitter and feel free to message the group on any of those outlets.

If you’d like to support Echols’ efforts at the Redfern Cornerstorne Center, head to http://childcenterny.org/message-from-redfern-director-lakia-echols to learn about how to donate and keep these programs going for the youth in Redfern.

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