MR. CURTIS NELSON
am absolutely thrilled to announce that Sesame Flyers International is
celebrating its 40th anniversary! For four decades, we have been at the
forefront of community service, inspired by the visionary spirit of our
late founder, Mr. Joseph Charles. His mission to create a safe haven for
children and showcase the vibrant and rich culture of the Caribbean
lives on, and we couldn't be more proud of this legacy. In this edition
of our newsletter, we highlight our unwavering passion for fostering the
talents, self-esteem, and expression of our youth and I invite you to
join us as we reminisce about the last four decades and explore the many
destinations we have reached together. Each milestone is a testament to
our collective efforts in shaping the destiny of our community and the
lives of our exceptional young people.
I am cordially inviting you to attend our annual Caribbean Essence
Awards and Showcase, where we will honor community leaders and award
scholarships to outstanding young individuals. This year's celebration
will be extra special as we commemorate our 40th anniversary. Your
presence at this milestone event will not only pay tribute to our past
achievements but also help us forge new paths and shape the destinies of
our future generations.
As Executive Director, I am deeply grateful for your ongoing support and
dedication. Our journey would not have been possible without the
tireless efforts of our staff, volunteers, and the entire community. Let
us continue to work together, hand in hand, to create an even brighter
future for our youth and community at large.
Birthday Sesame - 40 Years In Retrospect
BY DR. PEARL ELIE, BOARD MEMBER
We are now 40 years old, and still going strong. It has indeed been an
absolute honor and privilege to serve this community and the surrounding
diaspora for this length of time. Sesame Flyers International, Inc. was
founded by Mr. Joseph Charles (deceased), in 1983. Together with other
immigrant families, friends, and their children, the goal of the group
was to provide a safe environment for the children, while at the same
time exposing them to the culture of Trinidad and Tobago.
The organization first became known for its dedication to children. The
proceeds from their many fundraisers included parties (fêtes), boat
rides, and food sales. Curry Q, BBQ, and Labor Day activities were used
to enhance programs for the children within the community. The kids were
also introduced to playing “mas” on Labor Day Saturday. It started as a
tee shirt and children’s band and eventually the older kids, along with
the adults, made simple costumes.
We also started a Saturday program for the children. In the mornings,
the focus was on academics, Math, and Reading. The afternoons were
devoted to cultural activities, which included steelpan, dance, and even
sewing classes. The children called all the adults aunts and uncles,
thus encouraging a family-type atmosphere. Some of the tutors were
registered educators, who were familiar with the Department of
Over the years, the organization has evolved. We now host many Beacon
programs, catering to both adults and children. Our adult Labor Day band
has won Band of the Year for many years in succession. Even during the
“COVID Pandemic” when everything and everyone was on “shut down,” the
organization found a way to continue providing structure for the
children. Programs were “zoomed” for the kids as an extra effort was
made to provide extra activities to both adults and children.
Forty years have gone by pretty fast. Thanks must be given to the
dedicated members and the hardworking staff. Many kudos also go to the
organization's leaders who are focused on keeping our mission alive. Our
Chairman and the entire Board of Directors, our Executive Director, and
the Presidents (past and present), kept the organization together.
As an organization, we are proud to continue our legacy as a
community-based organization. Our mission is to provide a range of
developmental, cultural, social welfare, and supportive services to
individuals and families residing in Brooklyn. I must say that the arms
of the organization’s mission have stretched immensely, as our doors and
services are open to all within the diaspora. Our motto, “Love a kid
today and every day,” is continuously reflected in all our endeavors.
Martial Arts Empowerment at Clarkson Compass
are thrilled to announce the integration of JUTSU USA LLC, founded by
Serreste "Rusty" Barton-Hossanah, into our Sesame Flyers' Clarkson
COMPASS program. With over 20 years of experience in martial arts,
including Shizen-Ryu Aikijujutsu and the US Kodokan Federation of
Jujitsu, Rusty is dedicated to empowering young people through the
practice of martial arts, fostering self-confidence, discipline, and
constructive behavior. In addition to his extensive martial arts
background, Rusty is a licensed critical care flight paramedic and
serves as an Emergency Medical Services Operational Manager. His passion
for working with children, combined with his outstanding leadership,
makes him an exceptional asset to our program.
Martial arts offer numerous benefits for young people, such as improved
focus, emotional regulation, and respect for oneself and others. We are
delighted to welcome him to our team and look forward to the positive
impact he will have on our young participants.
Join us in celebrating this valuable addition to the Sesame Flyers'
Clarkson COMPASS program and experience the transformative power of
Youth Spotlight: The Clarkson COMPASS Dancers Shining Bright, From the
We are delighted to feature the incredible young talents of the Clarkson
COMPASS Dancers in this month's Youth Spotlight. These dedicated girls
have embarked on an inspiring journey, overcoming initial self-doubt and
transforming into confident dance competition finalists.
Through hard work, perseverance, and the support of their instructors,
the Clarkson COMPASS Dancers have discovered the power of dance to
bolster their confidence and unleash their inner potential. As they
perform in front of various audiences, they continue to grow and develop
as both dancers and individuals. We are incredibly proud of the progress
these girls have made.
Sesame believes in the transformative power of dance and live
performance in fostering personal growth and self-worth. The Clarkson
COMPASS Dancers serve as a shining example of what dedication, passion,
and teamwork can achieve. Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of
these remarkable young dancers as they continue to dazzle audiences and
grow in confidence. Keep up the great work, girls!
Upcoming Mental Health Art Gallery
ready for an electrifying event that's not to be missed! Sesame Flyers'
teen magazine, Gen Z's Voices, is shaking things up with their upcoming
mental health art gallery on Saturday, May 13th. It's time to break the
stigma surrounding mental health in minority communities and embrace the
power of self-expression!
Head over to the Sesame Flyers Headquarters located at 3510 Church
Avenue and join in on the fun. Get ready to witness singers performing
incredibly moving ballads of inspiration that are sure to tug at your
heartstrings. As you stroll through the gallery, you'll be in awe of the
various local artists' masterpieces on display that will leave you
feeling compelled and inspired.
But it's not just about admiring art; it's about sparking a conversation
surrounding mental health. The Gen Z's Voices team has planned games and
exercises that will help build a sense of community and teach healthy
coping skills. So come prepared to engage in thought-provoking
discussions and be ready to participate in exciting activities.
Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to connect with others and
learn about mental health. This is an event that's not just about art,
it's about empowering our community and breaking the silence surrounding
mental health in minority communities. Let's come together and make a
difference! The Eventbrite is linked here.
Additional information about the event may be found on Gen Z’s Voices
Instagram Page, @genzsvoices.