“I became an advocate for youth when I started my organization. Since then, other key topics affecting youth have peaked my interest. I believe we must look at ourselves first when demanding change from others. It is very important to be involved and knowledgeable of the situations you care deeply about. More importantly, it is important to be at the table, amongst the decision-makers, if you can’t be the decision maker yourself”.
Where does it come from?
In 2005, Terryl started The Misunderstood Youth Development Center (MYDC): a 501c3 youth organization providing services for ages 8 - 24. MYDC’s mission is to create various individual, peer and family oriented programs that will allow self-expression while Helping to Understand, Develop and Stimulate the Minds of our Youth. MYDC has grown into an alternative to incarceration program for criminal justice involved youth, a support agency for parents with children involved in the penal system, and a capacity building training mechanism for other youth agencies.
Once Terryl began working with the youth, she started to realize how all the other community entities related to what she was doing. Terryl started to realize how uninvolved and uneducated the community is about what’s going on in the community. Now, Terryl seeks to raise that awareness for the sake of our youth. Everything circles back to the youth: parenting, economics, civic engagement, politics, education, health & wellness, social services, veteran affairs, seniors, media, etc. At any point where Terryl can be a voice for the voiceless, she will take the stand.
Terryl currently sits on the Community Board where she resides. In 2015, Terryl surprised her community when she ran for New York State Assembly in District 29 vacant seat, in a special election. Although she did not win the seat, Terryl was victorious in educating the people to idea of being a Write-In Candidate. She was victorious in opening up the eyes of her community to the electoral process. She was victorious when she voiced the idea of Choice Matters and went a step further in becoming that choice. Terryl’s strong belief in equality and democracy led her in this race and has led her in many of the decisions she has made throughout her life.
Terryl has served as a panelist for the NAACP’s 75 th Anniversary Conference - discussing the criminal justice system and its impact on inner-city youth, invited as a moderator for the Eastern Queens Alliance Youth Speak Out Café, panel participant for Women’s History Month celebration hosted by Councilman James Sanders, Jr. and engaging parents in empowering conversations thoughout NY.
Terryl has been recognized in Southeast Queens, NY when she facilitated the first Youth Committee for the 31 st Council District Participatory Budgeting Initiative. She received recognition for her works in the community from the 5 th Congressional District Leader, Congressman Gregory Meeks, for mentoring young women; the Women’s History Month Achievement Award from the National Action Network, Queen Chapter; a Citation from Councilman Ruben Wills of the 28 th City Council District, as well as a
Citation from Senator Leroy Comrie, of the 14 th Senate District.