Maimonides hosts summer youth program recognition ceremony

BOROUGH PARK — Maimonides Medical Center held its Summer Youth Program recognition ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 14, celebrating members of various youth programs for their dedication and diligence, with the theme “Dreams are not something to wait for, they are something to work for.”

Participants were recognized for their outstanding contributions throughout the hospital and for providing exceptional care to patients’ families.

“The Summer Youth Program gives young people the opportunity to gain important skills and work ethic, as well as invaluable work experience that they can use in their future careers,” Alla Zats, director of volunteer and student services at Maimonides, told this paper.

The ceremony took place in the hospital’s Schreiber Auditorium at 4802 10th Avenue to a packed audience of 400. The NYPD Marching Band performed before Executive Vice President Douglas Jablon delivered opening remarks.

“These young people are really the angels from heaven,” Jablon told this paper. “We’re just hoping and praying that they will go into the medical field.”

Kenneth Gibbs, president and CEO at Maimonides, served as host and welcomed guests to the ceremony.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Kenneth Gibbs, president and CEO at Maimonides with keynote speaker Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus.

Gibbs voiced his pride in the accomplishments of the summer interns and thanked them for the energy and enthusiasm they brought to the workplace.

“This event is something we really enjoy as an organization and it really is about seeing all of you and seeing our future in you,” said Gibbs.

“We are here in Brooklyn and we should be Brooklyn-proud. This program is part of building our future goals in Brooklyn and as many of you know, Brooklyn on its own would be the fourth largest city in the country. So this is a very significant, sizeable community and you all represent the best of what this country is about,” he continued.

“And in participating in this program you are helping us here at Maimonides to create a culture of healthcare. So this is a program where you are all looking to begin that transition to adulthood and to working.”

Gibbs expressed the importance of finding work that is meaningful. “Those of us at Maimonides, in whatever we do in healthcare, we find the meaning in it because we are helping people in need.”

Salutations were delivered by Rossmery Dais, director of programs for child care funds and vice president of the Child Care Corporation; Colette Grant, director of the Summer Youth and Work Learn and Grow Employment Program; and Shakira O’Kane, director of Student Internship Management Services.

The keynote speaker was District 46 Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus, a former educator who earned a Ph.D. from the Columbia University School of Social Work.

“I can only imagine that getting to work here at Maimonides for the summer comes with some bragging rights. I mean they do have one of the largest volunteer departments in all of New York City, and it’s pretty impressive that for some of you here for your very first job you get to participate in all aspects of the day-to-day operations here at a very busy hospital,” said Frontus, whose district covers parts of southern Brooklyn.

“Whether you work on the business side, whether you’re working with patients or whether you are doing research and support, this is exactly the kind of experience that you’re going to want to highlight on your resume. So you should all be very proud,” she added.

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