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Newsletter Issue # 25
August 2018



Mr. Cecil McEwen

It is we deep sorrow that we share the passing of Mr. McEwen. He was one of the founding members of Sesame Flyers and played an instrumental role in us purchasing the property that stands as our main office. He was always a champion for young people and the community and his own children were raised by the village that is Sesame Flyers, where we love a kid today and every day. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support and thank you for keeping him, his family and the Sesame Flyers community at large in your highest thoughts and prayers. We are deeply thankful that his son Kevin McEwan has recently joined us on staff and working with us this summer on our Vision 150 project.


Executive Director's Message

The Legacy that is Sesame Flyers is one of dedicated, loyal and loving adults that are committed to making a difference in the lives of young people, their families and the community at large. 35 years ago the founding members of Sesame Flyers made that commitment and it has remained intact three decades later. Only Saturday July 28th one of those members, Cecil McEwan has called home. This month I had to take the time to honor a man that is the demonstration of the Sesame Flyers Legacy. In this issue you will get a chance read more about him and his contributions to the community. While he did amazing work here at Sesame, I personally thankful that I was able to call him a dear friend. Join me and the Sesame Flyers community is honoring this great man of dedication, Cecil McEwan. It is fitting that in this issue you will read about our commitment to fathers and the activities we have planned around honoring great Fathers in the community.

The summer is in full swing and with that I ask that we all take time to take care of ourselves, our article on Overcoming Burnout will give you some great tips. Continue to enjoy the summer and remembering to take care of those you love and most importantly, yourself.


Thanks Dad!
By Kenyasoweta Bowman

Over the past few decades, there has been a marked decline in the presence of fathers in the home. This can be attributed to several factors, including socioeconomic inequality, draconian prison sentences, and a gradual destruction of the traditional nuclear family unit due to increased economic obligations. Studies have shown that the absence of fathers in a child’s life contributes to broken communities that have a higher prevalence of crime, teenage pregnancy, unemployment and poor education. In most circumstances, children benefit from having both parents active in their lives as they typically formulate their beliefs and attitudes about adult interpersonal relationships from their earliest experiences.

While it is possible to raise intelligent, productive citizens with one parent, the chances of these children encountering challenges during adolescence and early adulthood are greater. For young men, healthy, strong and intelligent male role models can be the difference between a life of crime and dysfunctional relationships and having a successful career and marriage. Women who have had strong, productive male figures throughout their lives typically choose partners that they can build solid family units with and are less likely to experience domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and economic exploitation from partners who also did not have a consistent presence of positive male influences in their lives.

To honor the fathers who have made a difference in our communities Sesame Flyers, not only on Father’s day we will be hosting a Father-Daughter dance this coming fall. We have some amazing Father right in our community and we want to show them how much we love and appreciate their role in the community. Please take the opportunity to help us commemorate those who work hard and sacrifice for our children by attending with your friends and family.


Five Actionable Tips To Overcome Burnout
By Liana Wilson

Feeling burned out these days? You are not alone. As adults the task of managing work, families and child rearing is consuming and can be overwhelming, too often leaving us with no time for self and resulting in burnout. Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress in your job, or when you have worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time. You can also experience burnout when your efforts at work or home have failed to produce the results that you expected, and you feel deeply disillusioned as a result.

You might be experiencing burnout if you:

- Feel that every day at work is a bad day.
- Feel exhausted much of the time.
- Feel no joy or interest in your work, or even feel depressed by it.
- Feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities.
- Engage in escapist behaviors, such as excessive drinking.
- Have less patience with others than you used to.
- Feel hopeless about your life or work.
- Experience physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, or heart palpitations. (Make sure that you see a physician about these!)

Self-care is extremely important to target burnout and its symptoms. Below are some suggestions for recovering from burnout…

#1 Focus on the Basics
If you've experienced burnout, your body may be in need of attention. This is why it's important to think about the basics of good health and well-being.

#2 Take a Vacation or Leave of Absence
One good way to start your recovery is to take a real vacation . Time away from work gives you the distance you need to relax and de-stress.
While the stress and problems that you're experiencing at work may still be waiting for you when you get back, taking time off is essential for getting the rest you need and coming up with long-term solutions to burnout.

#3 Reassess Your Goals
Next, take time to reassess your personal goals . Burnout can occur when your work is out of alignment with your values, or when it's not contributing to your long-term goals. You can also experience frustration and burnout if you have no idea what your goals are.

#4 Say "No", Politely
Try not to take on any new responsibilities or commitments while you're recovering from burnout. This might be challenging, especially with colleagues, friends or family members who may need your help.

#5 Practice Positive Thinking
Burnout can cause you to slip into a cycle of negative thinking. This negative thinking often worsens over time. You can combat this by learning how to think positively . Affirmations , which are positive statements about the future, also help you visualize and believe in what you're doing. When you're in recovery from burnout, it can be a challenge to develop the habit of positive thinking. This is why it's important to start small. Try thinking of something positive before you get out of bed each morning. Or, at the end of the day, think back to one great thing that you did at work or at home. You deserve to celebrate even small accomplishments. These celebrations can help you rediscover joy and meaning in your work again.


Success! A Vision Comes To Life

On July 10th and July 12 Sesame Flyers in collaboration with Sesame Carnival held our first ever dance auditions for the Labor Day Parade. It all started with a vision, a grand vision of at least 150 Masqueraders doing organized dancing down the parkway. We knew it would be a massive undertaking and we were up for the challenge. We assembled and incredible team to make this happen, under the direction of our Cultural Director Persephone Dacosta and Professor of Dance Kevin McEwen. In taking our first steps in bringing this vision to reality, we started our auditions at the prestigious Mark Morris Dance Studio. Scores of dancers came out for a chance to be featured in this year’s parade. Out the gate, the dancers brought their “A” game. We were truly impressed by the men and women who came out to audition with us. It was both inspiring and fun to see how motivated everyone was and the possibility of what they would be for the Labor Day parade. We are honored to continue to be leaders in the Labor Day parade and create a new legacy of what it is for a band to give a show on the grandest of all stages.


Ongoing Activities For All Ages At The Mas Camp

On Thursday June 7th, 2018 Sesame Flyers was proud to join Brooklyn City Councilman Jumanne Williams, elected officials, advocacy groups and a coalition of students on the steps of City Hall to support the Summer Youth Employment Program. It was a call to action for increased investment to allow for the expansion of the program. The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) currently provides six weeks of summer employment to 70,000 youth, aged 14-24 across the five boroughs. Sesame Flyers currently is a worksite for the SYEP program and part of our legacy includes having helped over a thousand young people through this program.

Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, noted SYEP also provides workshops on job readiness, career exploration, financial literacy, and opportunities to continue education and social growth. SYEP does not currently have the levels of investment needed to provide universal placement for students badly in need of a summer job. The elected officials, advocates, and students, therefore, called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to expand funding for the program in the fiscal year 2019 budget currently being negotiated. Sesame Flyers will continue to be active in our community and support initiatives that create career opportunities for our youth.

Update on the 35/35 Campaign

We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who has participated thus far in our 35/35 CAMPAIGN that we first introduced to you last month. It is the generous and consistent contributions from our community that makes our vision of loving a kid today and everyday come to life. Your continued support means to much to us and the children and families we aim to serve and support each and every day. If you would like to participate in the campaign please follow this link https://www.gofundme.com/645h4-3535


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