Powerful Messages


Bayport-Blue Point High School students learned about the power of words and actions when renowned public speaker and child survivor of war-stricken Liberia Shadrack Boakye visited the school.

Before the entire student body, Mr. Boakye spoke about how, despite all of the devastating and negative obstacles placed before him, he turned his life around with the support of a few key individuals. He noted that one of those individuals was his eighth-grade teacher and current BBP Board member Gina Murphy, who encouraged him to pursue his writing talents. He also reminded students that the words one uses can create a ripple effect within their immediate circles and community, and he stressed the importance of becoming an upstander for those being bullied.

In addition to the schoolwide assembly, the school’s Peer Education Program members attended a breakout workshop training session with Mr. Boakye. The session focused on sustaining the message of the program through role-playing activities. The group, formed as an initiative by the Suffolk County Health Department, regularly trains the district’s students on embracing kindness and compassion.

“The additional training that was provided to the Peer Education Program was important so that we can maintain and sustain [Boakye’s] message,” said school psychologist and PEP advisor Dayna Russo. “This is a proactive way to eliminate the ‘once and forgotten’ type of assembly. The PEP students will now go into classrooms throughout the district and teach their peers by utilizing some of Shadrack's messages and activities.”