Boys & Girls Club of Shinnecock Nation
Dyashwa Sylvester is the director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Shinnecock Nation where she plays an essential role in providing resources and support for the Shinnecock youth in order to ease the impacts of adult substance abuse, mental illness, and trauma in the Shinnecock Tribal community. At the Boys & Girls Club they offer drug/alcohol prevention and mental health education, exercise classes, wellness and recreational activities, skill-building, vocational and financial courses, fundraising activities, volunteering, family and community engagement activities.
In the heart of the Shinnecock Indian Nation reservation, a newly renovated clubhouse for kids and teens opened its doors in April of 2022. On any given day, you'll find skateboarding, arts, sports, yoga and meditation and science lessons, along with learning of Shinnecock culture, like traditional dancing, singing, drumming, making regalia and tribal history, language and spiritual beliefs.
Dyashwa carries a strong voice in the community: "We have the thread of our ancestors running through us. Our blood is connected to their blood. That's why we're so strong and I truly believe that our ancestors are always with us. That's where I get my strength from, the creator, and knowing that I've got all my ancestors behind me. Someone has to find that light, because as long as that light is still shining, it will get bigger and bigger over time. You just have to feed it. And that's why i'm so glad to be the one that can help focus on our youth."
East End Food distributed 2925 meals to Shinnecock Boys & Girls Club in 2022 via grant funding that they received.