tv Here and Now ABC April 17, 2016 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
it's your right and most would say your responsibility as well. >> "here and now," the program featuring the news and interests of the african-american community. here's your host, sandra bookman. >> coming up, helping young victims of sex trafficking pick up the pieces. a residential program for girls that is changing and saving lives.
shoes for underprivileged children around the world. we're gonna introduce you to the co-founders of billy4kids. also, saving a piece of history in paterson, new jersey. the push to preserve one of the last remaining stadiums that served as home field for a legendary negro league baseball team. and later, the jersey city students who brought home top honors from a national theater festival. that and more ahead on
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>> the u.s. justice department estimates that as many as 300,000 children in this country may become victims of commercial sexual exploitation each year. one child survivor of sex trafficking here in new york recalls how her young life became a living nightmare. >> when i was 12 years old, i got gang-raped, and after that, i was kind of vulnerable.
and i thought he was my boyfriend until he told me i had to start having sex for money. he was like, "oh, i want you to have sex with my brother," and i'm like, "no." he was like, "oh, come on. i thought you said you'd do anything for me." and i'm like, "no." and as i'm saying that, i'm, like, butt naked. so i'm going to get my clothes now, 'cause he kept repeating it, like. so, he had my clothes. like, "no, just sit down. relax." "no, i want my clothes." he pushed me, walked out. another guy come in, like, "yeah, you know, i'm his brother." "uh, listen --" i told him, "no. i'm not having sex with you." and he pushed me down, pinned me down, raped me. he left. so, another guy came in. i fought him. he still raped me. left. and another guy came in. fought him.
i blacked out after 10. i didn't tell anybody until i was 14 years old. i think i didn't tell nobody because i know i was supposed to be home. my mother was at work. my grandmother and grandfather was very strict. i was lost in life. like, i didn't care about nothing. me and my mother wasn't really getting along. i had to leave. i was never home. and it's a matter of survival. that's how i got into the life. well, my mother didn't know what to do. she was very concerned, and she was working very closely with law enforcement, so... she seeked the gateways program, and she brought me up there. gateways saved my life, number one. gateways helped me realize my self-worth and, you know, realize i have to make myself happy and not everybody else and help me set goals for myself. i obtained my cosmetology license, i got my high school diploma -- like, certain things
the advice i would give to a young girl is... it's hard. if you feel like you can't tell your friends or you can't tell your parent, try telling your doctor. if you're on the streets, try telling somebody, anybody. like, say something like, "can you just make a call for me? could you tell me how to get this way or that way?" there's a lot of programs out here to help. there's always a way out. it's hard, but there's a way out of it. >> the gateways program at the jewish child care center's cottage schools helps exploited children find their way out of sex trading and gives them hope for a better life. joining us today is the director of the gateways program, janmarie brown. so nice to meet you. welcome to "here and now." >> thank you for having me. >> you've been doing this work for a long time. >> yes. >> what draws you to help these kids? >> these youth have experienced
these are young girls that they should be experiencing dating boys their age. they should also be -- you know, some of them have never jumped rope, some of them have never gone to the movies with their friends without being persuaded or pulled into this underground world of trading sex for money and drugs. >> mm-hmm. >> many of our youth, we have -- the youth that we have have been between the ages of 12 and 17. we've had as young as 10, and we've had as old as 18. all of the youth that we have are from new york city and new york state, whether it be westchester or new york city. >> and what does the gateways program help them do? and how is it different from some other existing programs? >> so, gateways program is a residential treatment center that takes the youth out of the community where the trauma ensued and takes them to a place of security and protection. these youth are away from the community, away from their pimps, away from the madames,
actually purchasing them and the pimps and the madames that were selling them. and also, at the hands of these people, not only did they experience emotional, they also experienced physical trauma... >> mm-hmm. >> ...and physical abuse that is with them. so we are giving them safety first, their basic needs -- safety, shelter, clothes -- and then, from there, you work on the inner trauma. you work on the rebuilding self-esteem and recognizing the trauma. you rebuild them so that they can return to the community, that they are now continuing to be productive citizens. and they move away from this -- they move from victim to survivor. >> mm. how do many of the girls come to your attention? >> so, we are an organization that works with the administration for children services, and we also work with the department of social services in westchester county, come to us. their parents will seek help, and when they seek help, then they contact us, because we are the only residential treatment
services youth that have been sexually exploited. >> now, how many girls have you -- are you working with right now? and how long has the program been -- >> we have been open since march of 2009. >> so how many girls do you think you've served since then? >> we have served over a hundred girls in the program. there is definitely a higher number of girls that have been exploited. it is definitely being able to identify. >> you know, one of the estimates says, in new york, maybe 2,200, but a lot of people think the number's probably higher. >> it's definitely higher. >> 2,200, i guess, a year. >> that is extremely low. >> mm-hmm. >> you know, we receive -- we do interviews regularly and speak to these youth and see what has actually happened to them, what services we can provide to them. 2,200 is very low. >> and how do you find many of them are sort of lured into this lifestyle? >> a lot of it is with -- the times that we're in right now, there is a glorification of
of a certain lifestyle, and that promises. and, you know, you're teenagers, so... >> you're talking about a nothing. they're children. >> they don't. but if there is anything -- say, for instance, they're seeking that attention or it's a matter of them feeling that this person loves them, is going to fill a void or make them feel better than they are -- they're not thinking that this person's gonna take advantage of them and do anything that's gonna hurt them, because this person is giving them everything they need in the beginning. but when the tables turn and it's a matter of, "this is what i need you to do," they're already there. >> it's too late for them to get out. you know, and how difficult is it when you find a child that's been living like this, to convince them that you really are a safe haven and to get them to open up and to talk to you? >> it's very difficult, but it takes dedication, and it takes your continuing to let this youth know, "listen, i'm here. no matter how much you think i'm
push me away or play tug-of-war and think that i'm just gonna leave because you're having difficulty expressing yourselves or you're not ready to get to this trauma and discuss it, when you're ready, we're here." >> is it difficult to convince people that don't work with these girls every day that this is a bigger problem than most people think and that it is happening in their backyard, in their neighborhoods? >> it's gotten easier, in the sense that now that it's no longer taboo, people are having these conversations, and it's being discussed, that it's not just overseas. it can literally be happening in your backyard. people are now more open to it and are having conversations around it. it's more so around the language of people understanding that they're not prostitutes. >> mm-hmm. >> they are victims of commercial sexual exploitation. >> yeah, because one of the things that's happened recently is this anti-trafficking law that is focusing less on criminalizing the victims -- they're considering these young people victims rather than
>> i want to ask your advice for parents and for a young person to avoid being lured and signs to look for if you're a parent with a child in this age range. >> if you're a parent with a child in this age range, it's having that conversation, being open, and not being afraid to discuss things that you might think they're too young to have the conversation about or "my child doesn't know about that, so why have that conversation?" because they might not have experienced that, but their friends might have. a lot of -- this is the age where there's a lot of peer pressure. pay attention to your child coming home with certain things that you didn't purchase. pay attention to them going out and breaking curfew and then coming back and then leaving. it's just a matter of a pattern and being open and having those conversations with them. >> and young people, what do you say to them about ignoring the person that is seeming to offer something? if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. >> very much so.
working with the girls, one of the main things that i talk to them about is being priceless. you can't put a price tag on yourself. in this day and age, money is glorified. these things are what people are seeking, so... you're priceless. >> and you have to think of yourself as being that way. i can send people to the website -- jccany.org. >> yes. >> and they can find out more about the gateways program. >> yes. >> and i want to ask you, how are you funded? >> we are funded through new york state and through the administration for children's services in the department of social services. >> okay. but obviously, it would be always great to get some more support. >> yes, it would. >> because there's a lot of other kids that need the assistance. >> yes. >> janmarie brown, the gateways program, thank you so much for being with us this afternoon. >> thank you. >> still to come, how a nonprofit's gift of shoes is changing the lives of children
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>> one step at a time. billy4kids is a nonprofit organization that's providing shoes for underprivileged children in places like haiti, colombia, and the dominican republic. well, to date, they have donated more than 4,000 pairs. joining us today are billy4kids co-founders billy lerner and alexson roy. thank you for being here. >> good afternoon. thank you for having us. >> we love this -- love this organization. and you said it before, it seems like such a simple idea that goes so far. where did the idea come from? >> i was watching a netflix documentary one night on children living in third-world countries who were getting hookworm and losing their legs or losing their lives due to raw sewage in the streets. so, in conversation with alexson, we came up with this idea of getting donations of sneakers in all of the ipark garages. so everybody started spring
closets, and giving us sneakers. >> and you thought, "you know what? i can sign up with this." >> well, yeah. i mean, when we had the conversation, it was pretty much about, you know, helping kids throughout the world. and based on all of the things that i saw when i went to haiti and when i went to ghana and how i just saw kids, like, playing soccer in sandals and in bare feet or shoes that were cut in the back, you know... and there were some kids that weren't even playing because they were injured. you know, they had, like, just injuries to their feet and to their extremities. >> because they'd been doing it barefoot. >> yeah, 'cause they've been doing it barefoot. so, me and billy had this conversation, and he was like, "well, i saw this documentary," and i said, "well, this is what i saw in my travels," and he said, "do you think there's anything we can do about it?" and i said, "let's see. let's try it," and that's pretty much what we did. you know, we took donations, and here we are. >> and you started doing this in
i said, when i introduced you, 4,000 shoes. what's interesting to me is that you guys went a step farther. it's not just collecting shoes. now you're even manufacturing shoes to give away. talk to me about that. >> yeah. >> so, i guess, what happened was, we were collecting shoes at all the ipark locations throughout the city. and we were getting a lot of shoes. i mean, your count was correct -- we got like over 4,000 pair of shoes just on donations. but a lot of them were heels and boots and, you know, stuff like that. and, i mean, we appreciate it, and if you want to continue to send that, please do, because when we can't help kids, we go out to shelters, and we go out to different organizations to get rid of them. but we didn't have any kids shoes, and so i spoke to billy and i said, "billy, why don't we make our own shoes?" and i'm pretty sure he was probably thinking in the back of his mind, like, "make our own
but, i mean, he went along with it, and he thought that was a great idea. and so we sought manufacturers, and we started making our own shoes. >> mm-hmm. >> a very simple canvas shoe. >> yeah, a sneaker, basically. >> yeah, a sneaker, something that they can go to school in, something that they can play sports in -- a very versatile type shoe. >> and, billy, what has been the reaction when you show up with the shoes for these people? >> you have to see the faces of the children. that's what makes it really all worthwhile. alexson and i have been very fortunate in life, and we both feel that we have to give back. and just by seeing the smile on the faces of these children when you hand them a fresh pair of sneakers or shoes, they're elated, and that makes it all worthwhile. >> how often do you travel, and how often are you able to get shoes out to particular places? >> well, i guess it definitely depends on, pretty much, what
we have to deal with a lot of paperwork when it comes to customs and delivery of the shoe. for the -- mainly, it takes maybe about two months to, i guess, organize what we call a mission. >> mm-hmm. >> and we contact the organization in that particular country, and then we do whatever we can, as far as the paperwork. and then, as far as shipment, it takes up to two to three weeks. >> and -- no, go ahead. >> so, on average, it's about every two months, every three months. >> and are folks generally receptive to the idea of these guys -- two big guys -- showing up, saying, "we got some free shoes"? >> extremely. we've pretty much been dealing through church groups. that's the easiest way to have an inroad into the real needs of children that are in need of these sneakers. so, we contact the parishioners, and we make arrangements to be there on a certain date, and they set it up and have the children there. >> now, are there any places that you haven't had a chance to
there's a particular need and so it's on your list? >> it's all over the world. there's 740 million children living in countries that do not have adequate sewage systems. we've all been to caribbean islands, we go to a nice hotel. and a mile down the road from the hotel, you see that trough on the side of the street. that's their sewage system. it rains, and that sewage flows out into the streets, and the organisms are sitting on the streets. >> mm. this is not -- look, this is not an inexpensive proposition. so do you accept donations? how does that work? >> we've been accepting -- >> besides shoes. i mean, i know you accept the shoes, but do you have financial donations, or... >> we have not sought out financial donations yet. it's been self-funded by us. at some point in the future, we hope to go out and financially help support this. >> yeah. i mean, i would think, just talking to you right here, i'm thinking, "what an amazing,
and, really, in a lot of instances, i would think, you're saving lives. >> exactly. >> yeah, just put a new pair of shoes or new beginnings, have an old pair of shoes -- we all have these shoes sitting in our closets from our teenagers. take them and put them to use. >> yeah. >> drop them off at ipark garages. >> yeah, and i should mention, because this is -- this is -- it sounds like you're passionate, but both of you obviously have day jobs. your family runs the biggest parking-garage system in the city. >> yes. >> and you are mr. magic hands, i understand. >> i do my best. >> alexson therapies? >> alexson therapy, yes. >> all right. i think that this is just a wonderful program, and i'm hoping that you really spark interest here, and i suspect there's gonna be a lot of people that want to help you with this. if we're gonna send people to billy4kids.org, they can find out more about the organization, what you do, and where you're helping people. >> thank you so much for having us on. >> what a pleasure to meet both of you. thank you for being here.
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>> the men of medgar week celebrates and highlights male achievement on the campus of medgar evers college in brooklyn, and here to tell us more about this special event is dr. robert waterman. he is the director of male development and empowerment center and black male initiative program. and joshua davis. he is a senior at medgar evers college. thank you both for being with us this afternoon. this is such a wonderful program. talk to us about the idea behind this men of medgars week. >> we came up with the idea because it had the center focus on black and brown males. there's always a negative take
are indicated as, especially -- i live in bedford-stuyvesant, and i do see how they hang out on the corners and the lack of options that they have. and then, when i got into medgar evers college and looking at the retention piece on recruitment and retention and how black males even in a predominantly black school as medgar evers college yet there are not a lot of black males that come or brown males that come to medgar evers. and from that perspective, i said, "okay, president crew has this concept of how we recruit and we retain students," but i needed to focus on black males. >> yeah, you want to -- it sounds like you want to figure out a way to let more of these young men know that there is something here for them and there is something else for you. so you're trying to figure out how to get them interested and get them interested enough to stay. >> yes, ma'am.
another purpose, which is a degree, which now leads to a better job. >> now, you're a senior, joshua, right? >> and i understand -- you know, i was reading your r\sum\, and really impressive. >> thank you. >> just the things that are important to you, the time you spend outside of your studies, focusing on other young men. you're a mentor, i understand. >> that is correct. >> but at one point, you thought about dropping out? did i read that correctly? >> something like that. um, i didn't -- i didn't think that medgar was for me at one point in time. i didn't think that the stuff i was studying, the classes i was taking, they spoke to me. i didn't just want to go get a piece of paper. i wanted to do something that will change my life and maybe help other people -- my brothers on the block or my family. i didn't know what i was doing. so i was kind of lost.
>> and what did you find that convinced you that medgar was the place for you? >> the development empowerment center. >> mm-hmm. >> i was confused, and one of the upperclassmen brought me to the male development empowerment center. and that's where i met with dr. waterman and the other directors and mentors at the male development empowerment center, and that was a few years ago, and now i am a mentor. so it's like coming in and having your whole life kind of change. it's like, "you're important." >> what did they say or do at the center? what did you find that was sort of the key to saying, "now i get it"? >> well, it's like, going through my k to 12 grade of schooling, not having a black male teacher in my life and now having a hundred of them saying, "you got this. you can do this, and i could help you, and i could tutor you, and i can mentor you."
>> and, dr. waterman, is that what you're hoping will happen to people that participate in this medgar evers week? i mean, look, you've got a long list of workshops and film festivals and conversations and just a chance for young men to fellowship with each other. is that what you're hoping, that there's gonna be, like, a light bulb that goes off for some of them? >> the first thing is the bond, creating the bond and building the bridges between the age gap and grade gap, and then, from there, giving them the concept of "i do matter. i'm not all -- i matter here not because i go back to my block or to my community, but i have a community in a block here, which is at medgar evers." the classmates -- you often see people who sit in the same class and don't know each other's names. they're walking on campus or even in the cafeteria and yet don't even speak.
atmosphere when brothers is like on the corner, giving each other dap and saying, "hey, yo, what class are you taking? are you doing good?" so, it's that bond-building that we're trying to create in that week of the medgar men week. >> yeah, it's the 18th through the 21st, so it starts tomorrow. and, you know, what are some of the different offerings? the one that caught my eye, to tell you, is the men in suits, the walk through campus. why this walk through campus? >> 'cause often, there's a negative connotation that's thrown at black males with the hoodie and the drop of the pants. so we want to flip it. we want to flip it within our college structure. we want to now tell our brothers how -- "what are you gonna be like when you finish your education?" this is -- change. that's how the barbershop has been established, starting with the face. you're cutting the hair,
look presentable, making people take a double look at you. so the medgar man walk is gonna be something that -- it's gonna grab attention to the other young men and the females that are on campus that these guys -- "is that the same guy in my class who was sitting with that hoodie? now he's got a jacket and a suit on, 'cause that's his potential." and we're trying to create an atmosphere where these guys understand that they do have potential, and changing your dressware sometimes approaches that in a slightly different way, versus "i haven't arrived yet, but i can start." >> mm-hmm. you excited about this week? >> yes, i am extremely excited about the medgar man unity walk, where we all dress up in suits and we walk around the campus and the different departments, and we get to shed a different -- we get to -- we get to give people a different take on who we are and what our potential is. >> and as a young man, this week of activities, are you hopeful? and when you see the list of
thing, do you see things on that list that should inspire some of the young men that you go to school with? >> the career and success talks, bringing people that look like me back to campus and telling them how to navigate the workplace, how to navigate corporate america and government. i think that is gonna be terrific. i can't wait. hopefully i can find another mentor so when i'm ready to graduate and look for a job, i could get one and have somebody help me climb the ladder. >> you are definitely motivated, both of you, to do great things for your community. i'm gonna send people to mec.cuny.edu. mec.cuny.edu. >> mec.cuny... that's @ -- @mec. >> @mec. >> right. firstname.lastname@example.org.
"who told you you were broke?" that really came from me working in the direct-sales industry. and dealing with people, you're telling them how they can get ahead in life and saying, "hey, invest in yourself, start your own business, work from home," and they say, "well, i don't have the money. i can't do this," or they'll -- you would really see them fall back into a mind-set of what they couldn't do. and i just got to the point of saying, "well, who told you you couldn't do it? who told you you were broke?" because the spirit that taught you that is a spirit of hate, someone who doesn't like you, someone who is not looking out for your best interest, will convince you that you're broke. but the minute you have a mind-set of wealth, then you start looking at everything as, "hmm. maybe the bible, to me, is one of the best business books, if not the best business book, on the planet." so while i've read many other business books, i also pull from the best business book out there, and i put it all together and said, "you know what?
i want all the information," and that's really why i pulled that in there. you know, and i tell people, i say, "hey, i'm not trying to win you over one way or the other, but i guarantee you, because i'm using the word of god, i'm giving you the correct information when it comes to prospering and prospering the correct way. because it all starts with love, and the next thing you know is integrity -- being able to make the right decision so that you can have a balanced life. this is a mistake that people make, and i did this, too, so i'm only speaking of myself. you would look at your bank account and say, "i'm broke," but you're not looking at the bank of your ideas. you're not looking at what's in your heart. you're not looking at any of your gifts, talents, and abilities. you are looking at literally where you are right now. the minute you look at where you are right now and make a judgment decision to say, "i'm broke," you instantly cancel out any possibility of having tomorrow not be broke. so that's why i say i quit being broke. "well, how do i quit being broke?" well, once you work with a lot of people in the direct-sales industry, consulting people,
and you hear people give their dreams, their ideas, or the ideal image of life that they want, and then later, they say, "well, i got busy doing this, and i got busy doing that, so i had to put that to the side," and i'm like, "well, that means you're not gonna get the life that you wanted." one of the first things that i learned that i had to apply to myself was to avoid emotional buying habits. you know, you don't just end up in debt. you just don't end up blowing your budget for the month. it's because you got emotional about something, you were trying to prove something to someone else, showing that you have the money, et cetera, and then you just go and you spend money. then all of a sudden, that just throws everything off. to make changes financially using simple steps rather than big, big steps is because you don't want to overwhelm yourself. you know, for one, it's hard to make a change, period. because look at it this way -- once a person gets out in life, you've already had your whole life of making wrong financial
so say you're 19, 20, 21 years old or even 25 or 30 years old. well, you have to erase everything that you've learned and now apply new information or yourself. then get the information, start taking certain actions, so that you can get to the image and the lifestyle that you want. you know, it may not be perfect, because we know we don't live in a perfect world, but you can do everything you can to get your life as close to the image that you see based on your imagination. now, i'm not saying you have to be in a million-dollar home, drive the most expensive car. that's the conception that people have, or misconception that people have, on success. i'm saying be able to enjoy your family, have a peace of mind, have happiness, you know? and knowing that there is no one that can come and take the car -- i didn't say what kind of car -- no one can come and take the home -- i didn't say what kind of home -- the key is, you own it. the minute a person falls into
into your wealth category of life. because here's the reality. i truly love my wife, i truly love my daughter, i truly love my son. if i quit anything, it's gonna be on anything that stops them from living the dream life that i see for them to have. there are no limits as long as we are willing to go for it. >> still to come, preserving one of the last remaining negro league stadiums.
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thank you so much for being here this afternoon, brian. this is really a fascinating story. this stadium, from what you've told me, is essentially in your backyard. where exactly is it in paterson? >> well, it's actually right outside of the historic district, and what's interesting about hinchliffe stadium, it's actually part of the national park that is there now, so it is literally right within the realm of history in paterson, especially since paterson is america's first planned industrialized city. so i grew up two blocks away from hinchliffe stadium, one block away from the great falls, and i was just kind of immersed in history. so i've just been very interested in the stadium for a very long time. >> and what is it that led you kind of to found this movement back in 2002, i believe? >> that's correct. 2002 was when the organization was formed, but in 1997, that's when the stadium closed down. and i read an article about the stadium closing down, and i just started to write to the national baseball hall of fame in cooperstown just simply asking about the stadium, and
hinchliffe stadium was in their library's archives, and that charged me to do my own independent research. and then, from there, i met my colleague, dr. flavia alaya, and we started the friends of hinchliffe stadium in 2002. >> and the purpose of the organization? >> well, it's really to create awareness. our belief is that this stadium should be rehabilitated and returned to its rightful owners, and that's the people. and it's not too many negro league stadiums in the country, so we believe that this history should live on for future generations and the stadium should also be adaptively reused in the paterson community. and it also is symbolic of one very important person, larry doby, who doesn't really get enough recognition in his contributions to the game of baseball. >> and who are some of the other famous players that actually played at that stadium? >> well, in addition to larry doby, you have josh gibson, who was one of the greatest players to ever play the game, all time. the pittsburgh crawfords, because it was so close to new jersey, played a lot of games there as a visiting team. so you have a number of great
you have mart^n dihigo, who was a great cuban pitcher. he's actually enshrined in five different hall of fames. so we have a lot of great players that have played there. in fact, over 20 hall of famers have played at hinchliffe, many of whom played in the negro leagues. >> you are a walking encyclopedia. you are not joking, are you. >> no, i guess i'm not. >> and what i find interesting about this stadium's history, as well, is that, as you pointed out, it was closed in 1997, permanently, but up until that time, it had been an active playing field for high school sports and... >> yes, that's correct. so, the paterson public schools took charge of the stadium in 1963, because at that point, they were the only ones using it. but, yes, it was home to both east side and kennedy high school baseball and football. and it was used right up until that point. and they are still the owners of the stadium. they haven't been the greatest caretakers of the ballpark, and our belief is that, you know, they need to step it up, and we all need to do that together. >> so, paterson -- the school
stadium, the property, now. >> right. the paterson public schools own the stadium, and they've owned it since 1963. but the city is a partner, via a shared-services agreement, and the city has taken the lead to try to work and trying to get some funding for the stadium. >> this is a tough process for you, but you've got a lot of stick-to-it-iveness. stick-to-it-iveness. you guys have made some progress. in 2013, was it placed on the national... >> yes, it was the national -- it became a national historic landmark, which, to give you an idea of what that means, the empire state building is a national historic landmark. so it puts it to that level of importance, because, again, there are very few of these stadiums left. when yankee stadium -- or i call it the real yankee stadium -- was torn down in 2008, that actually raised hinchliffe's level of importance even more because there are just that many less. so, it being a national historic landmark very important. it was also on the national register of historic
controversy to that, because even though it was a lesser designation, there was save america's treasures funding money that was available at that time, but due to an error, unfortunately, there was no funding for hinchliffe stadium. >> now, you got a grant of about $300,000 not too long ago. >> that's right. that grant came through a great partnership that we were able to have with the national trust for historic preservation. they are the highest entity when it comes to historic preservation in this country, and they have a firm belief in hinchliffe stadium, so through their partnership with american express, we were able to get $300,000 toward first-phase rehabilitation of hinchliffe stadium. >> and what will that money pay for? >> well, that's gonna be in conjunction with other funding. we received a grant from the new jersey historic trust, another great organization that cares about historic preservation, for about $500,000. the 1772 foundation came in with some money. so there's hopefully about $1.8 million, maybe $1.3 million, that we hope to do for first-phase, and that, hopefully, will be in the next year or two.
bring that stadium up to where we'd all like for it to be? >> that's a very big question. because of the years of neglect, the ballpark figure, if you will, is about $30 million. >> that's a lot of money. >> that is a lot of money. any hope of being able to raise that amount of money or...? >> well, that's what this first phase is all about -- to give, hopefully, some major donors this idea that paterson is on the right track with the stadium. there's a lot of issues going on in paterson right now. but at the end of the day, our hope is that the american expresses of the world would come and see, "hey, we want to be a part of this great project," and we have to show them a little something, hopefully with this first-phase step. >> and your website, hinchliffestadium.org? >> that's correct, yes. you can go there just for history on the stadium, learn a little more about the ballpark and its significance, which is a nationally significant ballpark. >> it's a pleasure to have you on the show and to bring some attention, brian, to this stadium, because i really didn't know about it, and i'm sure other people listening to this
either." so if more people find out information about it, we can bring hinchliffe back to life. >> well, i hope that that would be the case, 'cause it really is an important ballpark. >> all right, thank you so much, brian, for being with us this afternoon. >> thank you very much. >> it's a pleasure to meet you. >> same here. >> still ahead on "here and now," some jersey city drama kids who've brought home a national award for their performance of "the lion king jr." even when the deck is stacked, a new yorker will find a way to break up big banks, create millions of jobs, and rebuild america. some say it can't be done again. but another native son of new york is ready -- bernie. rebuild the middle class, make wall street banks pay their fair share,
>> a huge honor for a talented group of students from jersey city. the conwell kidz drama program won the outstanding overall production award at the 2016 junior theater festival in atlanta. here's a peek at their award-winning performance of disney's "lion king jr." >> ingonyama bagithi baba >> sithi uhm ingonyama ingonyama >> ingonyama bagithi baba >> sithi uhhmm ingonyama ingonyama >> siyo nqoba >> ingonyama ingonyama
>> ingonyama nengw' enamabala >> with us this afternoon is conwell kidz drama director nicole oliver and students jermaine birchett and carizma ross. congratulations, guys. >> all: thank you. >> you had to be so pleased with yourselves. >> yes. >> absolutely. >> you know what? i'm going to cheat, and i'm gonna start with the stars of the show, okay? >> of course. yes. >> so, jermaine, when you went to atlanta to compete against all those other kids, did you think that you were gonna come back one of the big winners? >> of course. >> [ laughs ] see, that's why i started with you 'cause i knew you were gonna be honest with me. >> of course. i love acting, and i gave it my all, and look. we won the first place elementary outstanding performance, and i'm really excited for all of us. >> yeah. i'm excited for all of you guys, too. and what about you, carizma? were you as confident going in as jermaine, or did you know it was gonna be a little tough?
competition -- ps 124. they won before us, but we did think that we was going to beat them this year, but i guess we gave them what we had. we did a great job. >> i think you left it all out there on the stage, did you not? and apparently, you guys were -- from what i understand, you wowed them. the judges were absolutely wowed from the minute you started >> mm-hmm. >> what does it mean to you to be able to take this group of kids -- what did you tell me -- 18 youngsters you took? >> 19. >> uh-huh. >> ...and watch them just really blossom? >> it's the most -- i tell everybody i have the greatest job in the world. i mean, to be able to give these students the opportunity to connect with the world on a different level, to bring their education out there into the world, it's just -- it's immeasurable. >> i think a lot of people who focus a lot on math and science and -- but these kids and their
i mean, you've got some real stars here. >> absolutely. >> and that interest has been piqued early on. >> mm-hmm. >> what do you think makes this group of children -- the conwell program so good? i mean, this year, you won this for outstanding performance. is that right? >> mm-hmm. >> last year, it was for outstanding -- >> excellence in music. >> excellence in music. >> uh-huh. >> what is it that makes the program so good and consistent? >> i think it's the passion of everyone around us. i mean, from our staff that we have that support the arts, our administration that truly believes that this is a necessary and integral part of education, to the students, who are involved, the people that work with us. the assistant director that i work with, she motivates me on days that i feel like i can't motivate myself, and the community. the parents are super-involved,
a community thing, and i just think that the passion is contagious. >> yeah. and look, it's contagious. you see these two balls of energy here, and we've got this huge trophy sitting here on the floor. just it must feel great to be able to hold that up and bring that home. jermaine, i see you shaking your head. [ chuckles ] you know, when you go on a competition like this, obviously you're competing against other kids, but do you also make friends when you go to something like this, or is it all about the competition? >> no, i make a lot of friends, and i encourage everybody, and i love to act, and i share it with a lot of people, and the friends there, they have a lot in common with me, so we talk about our share of acting, and we really have a lot in common, and they like acting,
manage to have an award, and i have got an award, so we're equal, and i love my friends, and i make a lot of friends when i go on competition. >> yeah, it's always nice, though, to come home with the award, though, isn't it? >> yes. >> and i want to ask you, carizma, is there something you think that's special about performing "the lion king" that really speaks to the judges and the audience? >> yes, i do, and i believe that's the words that we said. once i said, "nants ingonyama bagithi baba," they just started going crazy. >> say that again. >> nants ingonyama bagithi baba. >> mm-hmm. >> they just started going crazy because i don't think no kid can speak that african word like that that good, and it just was amazing. >> and i think everybody does know the story of "the lion king," but i think perhaps it was truly the passion and the talent that you all
the difference. don't you think? >> absolutely, absolutely. >> how much rehearsal, practice does it take for them to get in top form? >> well, we start usually in february where we pretty much learn the music during -- actually, we have a class during the school day, a drama class during the school day in which we meet, and then as we get closer to about the end of may, beginning of june, we start the after-school rehearsal process pretty much every day of the week for the last two or three weeks before we -- >> so it's quite a commitment. >> it is a huge commitment, and especially this show because we had to work on the dialect and the african dance, and i really wanted to bring an authentic experience to the children because of our community. i mean, we had a mom there that was from africa, so she was able to truly bring that authentic experience to our kids, and it was an amazing experience. >> and just your enthusiasm here is contagious, so i can only
you're onstage and the audience is picking up on that. so this was a big performance. you won this. the rest of the year, are you performing? how does it work? >> yes. we're in rehearsal right now for "hairspray," which will be in june. >> [ laughs ] i love it. >> yes. "hairspray jr." we're doing in june, the first week of june, and, yeah, we're constantly in rehearsal. in september, we start for our christmas show. >> it's like professionals. >> yes, yes. it's always in continuous rotation. >> you guys, you go to school and you basically got a job. [ laughter ] >> that's true. that's true. >> we are so proud of you. thank you so much for sharing this honor with us, and so, honestly, you know, once you win, you're gonna have to come back with another victory for us, right? >> it's a deal. we'll be here. >> okay. yes, we would love to have you guys on again. >> excellent. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> congratulations. >> both: thank you. >> thank you for joining us on "here and now."
today's show, you can watch at abc7ny, and if you'd like to comment or share your story, e-mail us at abc7ny or follow us on facebook and twitter. i'm sandra bookman. enjoy the rest of your day. >> it's the circle of life and it moves us all >> ingonyama >> through despair and hope >> ingonyama ingonyama >> through faith and love >> ingonyama >> till we find our place >> ingonyama >> on the path unwinding >> ingonyama