I met Seta and her family over 10 years ago - they are now my family. We have laughed and cried together through the joys and tragedies. When Seta invited me to the Pageant, I had no idea of how important and professional the Borinquen Leadership Program was for young ladies and their families. The event was well attended by the leaders of the City of Buffalo: Mayor Brown, Council President Pridgen, Councilman David Rivera, former Mayoral Candidate Sergio Rodriquez and others. They recognize what a fabulous opportunity this is for the young ladies and the community.
This was Seta's night and she had a large contingent of family and friends there to encourage her and celebrate with her. Her mom, Ruthy was alternating between tears and smiles as were her cousins and friends. My tears continue as I write this - over a week later.
I've watched Seta grow incredibly as a gifted and compassionate young lady. I remember taking her to her grandmothers after closing the Youth Center at Holy Cross. We would ride the elevator up 8 floors as the other young people waited in the van. We did that for many years. We visited many places over those years. Seta was also an employee of YWAP through the Mayor's Summer Youth Program. (Thanks, Mayor Brown for what you do for youth!)
During the talent portion of the Pageant, Seta recited a poem flawlessly. Among the last words she spoke, were these: "There's better days ahead." Seta's sister Roxy was sitting next to me. Roxy is one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. She elbowed me and said: "I got that from you!" Roxy had helped her sister with the poem and used words that I've recited to thousands of young people over the last 12 years. They came from my Grandmother. On her 100th birthday, (Gram lived to be almost 103 yrs. old!) I asked my Grandmother a question. "Gram, you've seen some hard times in your life. You've seen a baby die in childbirth, your son died, your husband died and pretty much all your friends are dead. You've seen terrorist acts and World Wars. You've been alive in 3 centuries! You've lived through a lot of bad stuff. What do you think about the world today?" Gram didn't blink an eye. She looked up at me (Gram got shorter every year!) and said: "I just know there's better days ahead!" That blew me away and I've been repeating those words ever since.
Seta is surrounded by a loving family. Seta also accomplished a lot by making the choice to be the best she can be. She studies hard in school, helps her family and neighbors as well as goes to work. Her life has not been easy in some respects, but she did not let hard times stop her. Good job Seta, we are proud of you. Jesus loves you and so do we!