Be the Change: NJ's Youth Leaders 2017

Steve Adubato hosts the Stand and Deliver: Night of Eloquence, an inspirational event showcasing the communication and leadership skills of New Jersey’s top youth leaders.

7/31/2017 #2060






"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention. My name's Steve Adubato. More importantly, this is the 18th annual Stand and Deliver Night of Eloquence. 18 Years ago, I'll get right to the point, we thought that the young men and women of Newark needed an opportunity to express themselves to learn about leadership and communication. We know that young men and women in suburban wealthier more affluent, comfortable environments... Let's just say that they have certain opportunities that these young men and women just simply don't have, and so that's why we decided to start this program. So 18 years later, stronger than ever, we started with, I don't know, 60 young men and women, and today there are over 500, that's right, 500 young men and women in this program. I ask you to keep your enthusiasm tonight, keep yourspirit alive and continue to show the love. They ask us "Why Newark?" Because they hate the place. Because the first thing they think of when they go up here is leaving. Because here, bullets fly, times are hard and jobs are scarce. But why not Newark? Why not a good education and the opportunities that it provides. Because we, all of us are Newark. And as we point fingers at our own home we allow others to do the same. Why not Newark? Why not the cherry blossoms at Branch Brook Park and the jazz festivals at Ivy Hill? They say Newark equals violence and that our communities are unsafe. But no, Newark equals beauty. And believe it or not, our transit system is top in the nation and our colleges are ranked among the best in the nation. So why then? Why do they only see the bad? Why are we counted out as a great city yet looked at first as a dangerous one? Why Newark? Because I have pride in where I come from and throughout all the bad, the media, the critics, I still appreciate my home because I live and breath Newark. And throughout all the bad, I will never forget my roots so why not? They said "Spell father, dear". M O T H E R! They looked at me in shame and said this isn't a game and you failed. Please remain back at your seat as I reveal the correct answer please. I yelled, I screamed. A father to me is a woman who raised me, took care of me, bathed me, watched me grow, and gave me wisdom. Turned on the heat when I was cold, went without, made miracles when it was dark out like the blackout, and still shined even when the lights were out. One who would make up lies before seeing me cry. Who's been there through thick and thin..."