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Sharing Perspectives

Sharing Perspectives

Brentwood High School Hosts Virtual Career Panel for Black History Month

BRENTWOOD, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2021)—Brentwood High School (BHS) recently welcomed highly regarded faces from the Black community, in conjunction with Black History Month, to introduce students to the professional opportunities available to them outside of music, entertainment and sports. The panel, hosted via Zoom, featured Kasha Stewart, Head of Product at The Walt Disney Company; Margaret Amao, Functional Analyst at CGI Federal; Nyreedawson Simpson-Emeli, attorney and owner of Emeli Business Consulting, LLC; Manisa Montour, owner of Nissafit; and Antoinette Seals, Highway Construction Inspector and accomplished entrepreneur. 

“It’s important for our students to see people like themselves, in positions that they aspire to be in. Having role models and inspiration for our students is very important as they pave an avenue in their own education and career paths,” said Mr. John Callan, Principal of Brentwood High School. “I’m grateful for the time and effort Ms. Bryan put into this endeavor to provide our students with this extraordinary opportunity.”

The virtual career panel was hosted by Nubians United, a BHS student club that focuses on celebrating, educating and promoting Black history and culture. More often than not, many people carry the impression that the only people of color that are highlighted in society are those involved in the sports or entertainment industries. Nubian’s United had students nominate family and community members to discuss their personal experiences as people of color in the workforce. The panel shed a light on lesser-known leaders in the Black community of Brentwood and served as an inspiration to BHS students that they can achieve success similar to those on the panel who have the same skin color.

“I’m really thankful to have these esteemed guests share their experiences. I’m hopeful that our students took notes and paid attention to the life and career lessons that were shared because it will be beneficial throughout their career paths,” said Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education. “Our students can do anything that they put their minds to if they showcase their skills, and remain humble, ambitious and resilient. Our panelists are a living inspiration to our young people, and we look forward to a time when we can welcome each panelist back, in-person, to walk through our halls.”

BHS English teacher and Nubians United Club advisor Ms. Sydney Bryan, who moderated the panel, facilitated the dialogue among guest speakers through student submitted questions. During the panel, students had the opportunity to utilize the Q&A feature to ask additional questions to be answered at the end of the panel discussion.