Flint, MI — Officials at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, June 29, 2018, at 10 a.m. reintroducing a Flint pillar to the community to continue helping development area youth.
The building located at 4119 N. Saginaw Street was built in 1921 and first opened as George M. Dewey Elementary School. In 1991 Flint Community Schools closed Dewey. Four years later it came under new leadership and reopened as the Sylvester Broome Jr. Training and Technology Center in 1995 closing again in 2012.
Today marks the official grand opening of the building which is now known as SBEV allowing the community to find themselves once again with the building’s history as Dewey Elementary School.
“I would like this building to be new and vibrant again,” said SBEV Executive Director, Maryum Rasool. “I would like it to be a beacon in the community. I would like community members—especially the youth—to come and feel pride and have ownership in the building instead of having windows that are falling apart, and doors that aren’t working. I want everything to be like new.”
Rasool was hired in 2017 to run the building after it was purchased by Dr. Jawad Shah of Insight of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience (INN). Shah bought the building in 2015. During those two years before Rasool took leadership, it became home to a few lone community programs that served between 30 to 80 youths.
SBEV is now serving nearly 250 Flint-area children since they kicked off their summer program on June 18.
“That’s why this building is so important,” said Linnell McKinney, who serves as community activities coordinator. “This is the building of dreams, where kids will come here and feed their talents. We will feed their dream. So that they will leave this building with confidence.”
The programs focus on art, literacy, civic engagement, nutrition, fitness, science, math, and journalism.
The basis of these programs relies on a network of community partnerships, project coordinators, and education professionals to help provide opportunities for Flint youth.
Rasool also expressed hope in cultivating the building as a historical landmark, recognizing that the structure has remained standing for hundreds of years. This year several renovation projects were completed including a remodeled gym, a full computer lab, and a library center.
“Our number one priority right now is to have this place where every kid will come from the north and the south, from the east to the west … and feel safe,” said McKinney. “And we will provide activities for every kid based upon their gifts and their talents, and we will expose them to adults who have mastered those same gifts and talents and take them to the place of their dreams so that they will be successful in this life.”
Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village (SBEV) will host a ribbon cutting tomorrow, Friday, June 29, 2018 at 10 a.m. at their building located at 4119 N. Saginaw Street in Flint introducing the community to its newly renovated facility and community programming.
During the event Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), State Rep. Sheldon Neeley, Flint City Councilman Santino Guerra and City of Flint Chief Recovery Officer Jameca Patrick-Singleton will speak along with SBEV’s founder Dr. Jawad Shah and the building’s Executive Director Maryum Rasool.
The ribbon cutting will also include a tour of the newly renovated facility for community members and media.
Congressman Dan Kildee
State Rep. Sheldon Neeley
Flint City Councilman Santino Guerra
City of Flint Chief Recovery Officer Jameca Patrick-Singleton
Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village Founder Dr. Jawad Shah
Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village Director Maryum Rasool
WHAT: Ribbon cutting and tour
WHEN: Friday, June 29, 2018 at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, 4119 N. Saginaw St, Flint 48505