As a reporter and sports editor for several news outlets who has covered Mount Vernon boys and girls basketball for nearly 25 years, I have to say that the programs -- parents, Coach Bob Cimmino and his coaching staff and players especially, have shown a high level of accomplishment both on and off the court -- are role models in their community and have offered very little but positive performance over the last 20 years. It is a shame that negative and derogatory comments from a few unfortunate people should slander these young men and the community. Racism is often a symptom of ignorance. Those who made racist or other comments should note that most of Coach Cimmino's players go on to college and many have returned to their community as teachers and other professionals who motivate young people. View Comment
Westchester Jewish Community Services
845 N. Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603
914-761-0600 x 204
Michael Sam, an NFL candidate from the University of Missouri, came out as “an openly, proud gay man.” If drafted this April, he would be the first openly gay NFL player. While public reactions have been mixed, the NFL released a statement showing their support for Michael Sam. "We at Center Lane feel that this is huge and exciting news for the sports world and for our community. Sam’s coming out as a gay man is courageous, and we intend to follow his story. We will be sharing this news with the youth in our program as a topic for group discussion and hope to incorporate Michael Sam’s story into future workshops," said Santo Barbagiovanni, LMSW, director of WJCS Center Lane.
CENTER LANE is Westchester's only community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) adolescents. Designed to reduce the isolation that many of these young people feel, the center provides an opportunity for socialization, enhanced self-esteem and personal growth in a safe place where they can be themselves without the fear of harassment. Services include: weekly support groups, creative and educational workshops, recreational and social events, social skill building activities, advocacy and short-term individual, family and group counseling. The center also offers opportunities for young people to do community service and a monthly networking meeting for student members of local high school Gay/Straight Alliance clubs.