Brooklyn Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie on Veteran’s Day inducted Brownsville resident Jestine Roper into the New York Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
“It is my honor to present this award to Jestine Roper, who has not only served our country in the Armed Forces but also serves our local community,” said Myrie, who represents the 20th Senatorial District. “Ms. Roper served for 30 years in the US Army, and continues to uplift young people and seniors in Brownsville with environmental education programming.
“I am proud to represent Ms. Roper and all the other veterans across our district whose contributions we honor today,” added Myrie, whose grandmother hailed from Jamaica.
Roper retired from the Army as chief warrant officer 3.
During her service in the military, she held various positions, including telecommunication center operator, army communication security officer, army motor pool officer and the company commander for annual training.
Her units included 99th Signal Battalion (Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn); 343rd Combat Support Hospital (Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn); and 344th Combat Support Hospital (Fort Totten, Queens).
After graduate school, Roper received her Master of Social Work and became a licensed clinical social worker.
She worked in social work with the Board of Education and various nonprofit organizations for over 40 years.
Myrie said Roper focuses on working with children, families and special education students as a play therapist within day care centers and Board of Education programs/schools.
Roper is the founder/director of JES Good Rewards, Inc./Children’s Garden, a Brownsville community green thumb garden, focusing on providing environmental education programs for children, youth, adults, seniors and community schools.
JES Good Rewards, Inc./Children’s Garden is also a GreenThumb Leadership Council and Summer Youth Employment work site for several providers in Brooklyn and Queens.
The organization also provide community events throughout the year.
Currently, Roper is a member of Community Board #16 Veterans Affair Committee.
Myrie said she was very instrumental in the success of the first Annual Veterans Appreciation Day Parade, in November 2019, in partnership with Community Board #3.
She collaborated with several military commands, community and youth organizations, bands, veterans organizations and senior programs — all participants in the parade.
Myrie said Roper has “a passion for working with people and advocating on behalf of children, youth families and veterans.
“By utilizing her interpersonal skills, she has proven to accomplish whatever she sets out to do,” he said. “Therefore, she will continue to work diligently, ensuring that her community receives their fair share of resources.”
Roper is the mother of three boys and has been a resident of Brownsville for more than 50 years.