Brooklyn youth leader making a huge difference

Kyra-Lee Harry receives award (center) immediately flanked by her parents Fitzpatrick Robert Harry and Cornetta Calita Harry, and Sherill-Ann Mason-Haywood (far left) and Diaspora Committee member.
Photo by Nelson A. King

By Nelson A. King

At a time when many of today’s youth yearn for proper guidance and strong role models, a Crown Heights, Brooklyn-born youth leader, activist and public speaker, of Vincentian parentage, is already making a huge difference in the community and setting the bar very high for her peers to reach.

Kyra-Lee Harry — who, along with the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York, received the Humanitarian Award two Saturdays ago from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York — is the daughter of Fitzpatrick Robert Harry and Cornetta Calita Harry.

The younger Harry said she has made it her “life’s mission to give back to her community,” according to her biography.

She said her dedication and passion for making a positive impact in the lives of others have shown through her eight years of experience in leadership, public speaking, networking and problem-solving, among others, “which have led to the creation of events for over 800 youth.”

At 15, Harry was the youngest person to ever be appointed to a Community Board in the United States and has earned the highest honors from the largest global youth development organization, 4-H, for her civic engagement.

For 13 years, she attended St. Mark’s Day School and graduated in 2013 as Head Girl and Valedictorian.

She is a former student at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College Preparatory High School, where she earned both an advanced regents diploma and her Associate’s Degree in Biology from Medgar Evers College at 18.

Harry is currently a rising junior at New York University’s (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering, pursuing studies in Business and Technology Management.

In her first year at NYU, she said she founded an annual Black History month event, which gave the Black Community at NYU “a platform to use their voice, share their passions and celebrate being Black.”

She also serves as a Chapter and Regional executive board member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Harry said her role as Pre-Collegiate Initiative Chairperson in NSBE gives her “the opportunity to encourage and expose more young black youth to S.T.E.M fields.”

According to Live Science, S.T.E.M is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

“Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, S.T.E.M integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications,” Live Science said.

In 2018, out of over 50,000 students, Harry was named one of NYU’s Top 10 Most Influential Students for her significant contributions to the NYU Community.

This summer, she said she interned at Johnson and Johnson World Head Quarters as a Corporate Business Technology Intern in the area of Global Strategy and Operations.

Harry said she was the first intern to schedule a meeting with the chief executive officer, and gave over 400 interns and co-ops “a chance to connect with the executive team.”

In accepting the SVG Diaspora Committee’s award, at the group’s 3rd Heritage Awards and Gala Ceremony, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, Harry expressed gratitude, stating that she was “truly humbled, grateful and so thankful.”

“Thank you to God, who is the head of my life, because, without Him, I would not be here today,” she said. “Thank you to my parents for being great examples and for their love and support.

“Thank you to my family and everyone who has supported me,” she added. “I will continue to use my voice to encourage and expose more youth to S.T.E.M, civic engagement and public speaking.

“As was mentioned, you will be hearing and seeing more of me, because my work in not done,” Harry told patrons.

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