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Rahsmia Zatarhas recently been named an"Outstanding Advocate and Children & Youth on Long Island"Rahsmia Zatar is one of the top individuals to receive the 2nd Annual OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH AWARD on October 17th for outstanding civic and community support! Help support Rahsmia in her goal to raise a minimum of $1,000 for this important fundraiser.Proceeds support the John J. Byrne Community Center of Uniondale's programs and services for the children and families of the region! Ms. Zatar was raised in Roslyn Heights, NY, graduating from Roslyn High School in 1995. She graduated with a bachelor in psychology from Hofstra University in Dec. 1999. After attending a conference in the sixth grade on the US prison system and minority populations, Ms. Zatar was convinced she wanted to work with incarcerated and ex-offending individuals. She enrolled at John Jay College for Criminal Justice and obtained a MA in Forensic Psychology in February 2002. While attending John Jay College, Ms. Zatar worked for the Suffolk Co. Dept. of Probation in a day reporting program in Hauppauge. In 2004, Rahsmia began attending the School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University. She obtained her MSW in May 2006. Rahsmia met an individual at Stony Brook University that would completely change her life, Sergio Argueta. Mr. Argueta is the founder of one of the leading gang prevention and intervention agencies called S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc. After just a couple of conversations, they both realized S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth was where she needed to be. It was a place where she could not only apply the knowledge acquired through school and previous work experiences, but could assist in enhancing communities and uplifting troubled youths who were desperate for compassion, understanding and a chance to shine in positive ways. Hired in Sept. 2005 she helped establish and run S.T.R.O.N.G. University, a gang intervention program working with previously incarcerated, gang involved youth and acted as the organization’s only social worker. Ms. Zatar’s passion and innate understanding of the dynamics playing out in the lives of STRONG youth and their families quickly made her a part of the organization’s executive staff. She worked closely with the Executive Director helping to design programs, provide input on the vision and direction the organization was headed in and representing S.T.R.O.N.G. at public forums and events, and committees. She was promoted to Assistant Director in July 2011 and then to Executive Director in January 2012. Since her appointment as Executive Director, Ms. Zatar has been busy working on a series of well-publicized advocacy actions in Nassau County, enhancing program designs and becoming an active partner in several community action groups and committees. In spite of facing severe challenges in funding, Rahsmia’s goal is to take S.T.R.O.N.G. to the next level, offering more services to more youth and increasing civic engagement and influence of youth through education, empowerment and advocacy.
The 2nd Annual ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH AWARDS COCKTAIL RECEPTION takes place on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 6pm to 8pm, at the Bethpage Lecture Hall, Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security, 510 Grumman Road West, Bethpage. To register or for more information, call Tracey Gittere at (516) 222-0550 ext 127 or TGittere@LegendaryEvents.net
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