Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cheers for Samir

Today I saw my young neighbor Samir in the Courier News.

The occasion was the presentation to his teacher, Dolores Jackson of Stillman School, as one of the winners in the Newspapers in Education awards.

The ceremony took place in the Commerce Bank Ballpark, adding to Samir’s list of interesting venues. Among others, he has previously attended the Grace Episcopal Church Peach Festival, where he got to up into the carillon’s bell tower, and he also met Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and former Police Chief Edward Santiago at past ceremonies at the Crescent Avenue War Memorial.

I’m hoping that these memories will imprint on Samir the sense of being someone who matters to his city and someone who can have a say when he gets older on what is important to Plainfield and Central Jersey as we experience the shift of voices weighing in on what matters.

Like it or not, Samir is the harbinger of possible greater civic involvement by Latino city residents who are here and therefore have a stake in Plainfield’s direction.

Over the past few years, I have been impressed by Samir’s gains through the Plainfield public educational system. He is curious, polite, cheerful and courteous. He has at his young age all the qualities that Plainfield needs to grow a new, concerned citizenry that will take the city to new heights.

Please let us foster the Samirs of our city and all others that want the best for Plainfield.

--Bernice Paglia


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