Fort Greene

Linda Warrington

Linda Warrington was selected to represent the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in Brooklyn as part of their national Youth of the Year project. The following powerful words come from her speech given as part of the competition.

 “We all don’t have a perfect past, but we should not let that define our future.”

“So many life altering situations have happened to me in my past which could have broken me but I refuse to let past obstacles deter my path to success.”

“Maybe it’s not about the happy ending. Maybe it’s about the story. I grew up in a household that was not complete. Some of my young years were spent in a foster home with my older sister. Our grandmother eventually took us in and raised us as her own. She is now my mother and my father. Growing up, I struggled with dyslexia and a speech impediment which severely affected my self-esteem. I also had people who I thought were my friends but ended up pressuring me into doing drugs, skip school and more.

Today, I’m the type of person that helps anyone that is going through challenges in their lives. I don’t want anyone hurting themselves and others because of their pain they are keeping inside just like I was. I also want the youth to know that you are not alone. We all have an imperfect past but we should not let that define our future.

Portrait by

Erin Lefevre

Erin Lefevre is a native New Yorker and documentary photographer whose work focuses on telling the stories of under-represented individuals and communities. Although born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, Erin spent much of her youth in the Fort Greene area and is happy to call Brooklyn her home in adulthood.

Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been the Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members. 

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