Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Friday made a surprise $500,000 commitment to “the Campus,” an initiative spearheaded by New York State Sen. Jesse Hamilton.
“The Campus” aims to build digital literacy and improve public health in Brownsville.
Joined by his colleagues, including Assembly Member Latrice Walker, Council Member Darlene Mealy, and more than 30 community partners, Hamilton announced plans to launch “the Campus” in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn in fall 2016.
Speaking at a press conference at Howard Houses Community Center in Brownsville, Hamilton, who represents the 20th Senatorial District, said the project envisions creating co-working space for local tech startups and entrepreneurs; hosting coding and app development workshops; providing e-workforce development skills building; and including a wellness focus to help confront local public health challenges, to include overcoming stress and anxiety.
Hamilton said “the Campus” programs will be open to the community, with a particular focus on neighborhood youth, ages 12-18.
“I know firsthand some of the challenges these young people are facing, because I grew up in public housing in New York and will always be a champion for the residents of NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority),” he said.
“Their experience is my experience,” he added, stating that his mom’s focus on education helped him get where he is today – “the honor of representing more than 300,000 Central Brooklyn residents.
“It is incumbent upon me to pass that focus on education and wellness on to the children of all the neighborhoods I represent; give them the opportunities, resources, and support that every child in New York deserves,” Hamilton continued. “As a community we must take advantage of the remarkable talent our young people possess by investing in them and their future.”
Hamilton said a clear message must be sent “that we believe in you, your ideas, your contributions and the great perspective you will add to our city and our state.
“With the Campus, we are sending that message of community determination and perseverance to Brownsville,” he said. “Thanks to colleagues, advocates, community based organizations, and small businesses, all the remarkable partners committed to making the Campus a reality.”
Adams said “the Campus” will “have the opportunity to become the developers of the next generation, building our borough’s reputation as a destination for innovation.
“I share State Senator Hamilton’s commitment to unlocking the potential of Brownsville, harnessing the energy from public and private partnerships to make this community a safer and more prosperous place to raise healthy children and families,” he said.
Hamilton said the project’s lead partners include both government agencies and community-based organizations, more than 30 partners altogether.