Brian Curran honors four from Baldwin school district


Assemblyman Brian Curran honored four students— Jovani Fernandez Garcia, Keeyan Weekes, Maekyla Massey, and Samisah Banjo—from the Baldwin school district for their contributions to the community last month.

In total, 19 young people in the 21st Assembly District were honored, which includes East Rockaway, Freeport, Lynbrook, Malverne, Oceanside, Valley Stream, and others.

Garcia, a student at Steele School Elementary School serves on the Student Council, where he demonstrates his commitment to education and leadership. Outside of the classroom, he has a passion for music, playing the violin in Orchestra and as part of All-County Chorus. He also participates in school talent shows and community events. For his athletic side, he plays baseball for the Long Island Royals, a Baldwin-based little league team, showcasing teamwork and sportsmanship on the field.

“He is a very mature young man,” Kevin Kurz of the Long Island Royals said. “He is also polite and respectful.”

Weekes, a seven-year-old student at Lenox Elementary School with an interest in reading, science, math, and coding, excels academically and has earned numerous acknowledgments and awards for his intelligence and leadership qualities. He actively engages in extracurricular activities such as FIRST LEGO League Explore, where he demonstrates his leadership skills in collaboration with his teammates.

Beyond academics, weeks enjoys basketball, swimming, and spending time with his family and friends.

A passion for political activism and youth empowerment, Massey is a two-time TEDx speaker and political organizer. She has dedicated herself to fostering youth engagement and building stronger communities.

Her commitment is evident through her work on various campaigns, including Reema Rasool’s run for Congress and Jake Scheiner’s campaign for county legislature. Additionally, she actively participates in organizations like Minority Millennials, a Long Island based non-profit organization that helps young people of color with access to jobs, build wealth and become civically engaged and Voters of Tomorrow, an advocacy organization promoting political engagement among Generation Z through online and on-campus efforts.

Beyond her campaign work, she is set to attend Columbia University in the fall, where she plans to study Political Science.

“As Maekyla Massey’s guidance counselor, I have had the privilege of witnessing her outstanding academic achievements, exceptional leadership skills, and unwavering dedication to creating positive change in her community.” Kristen Parisi, Baldwin High School guidance counselor wrote in an email.

Since second grade, Banjo has been described as a trailblazer, striving to create better opportunities for herself and her peers. Now as a student at Baldwin Middle School, she is elected as class representative and school president, using those leadership skills.

Alongside her academic pursuits, Banjo works behind the scenes giving back to her community through service hours and involvement in Girl Scouts.

“Young people are powerful. All throughout history, youth movements have had a tremendous impact on the way society thinks, acts and runs. Even today, it is young people who continue to lead the charge in the fight for equality and justice for all. I want to encourage young people to be bold,” Curran wrote in a news release. “Change the world. Don’t be afraid to be a part of something bigger. Young people are a powerful group, and with great power comes great responsibility.”