Longtime Hempstead educator continues to make difference in her community
The first Black graduate of Sacred Heart Academy is now serving on the Hempstead School Board.
Olga Brown Young grew up in the segregated south, but moved to Long Island in 1962. At the time, she was able to attend a school with children of a different race, but still felt out of place.
"Sacred Heart was the best education I received - it was phenomenal - but socially it didn't meet my needs at all," Brown Young says. "I was alone."
She would go on to teach English at Hempstead High School before becoming a dean and an assistant principal. Brown Young also started the school's first successful step team.
One of her former students, Edith Hilliard was the captain of the step team in 1998 when they performed at the Apollo Theater.
Another one of her students, Brandon Ray, is now an author.
"It was great to have an educator who not only wants to provide a safe environment, but who believes in every single child and definitely, I felt empowered in her classroom," Ray says.
Brown Young is now retired but continues to be a part of the community by volunteering as a trustee on the Hempstead School Board.
She says she is hoping to continue to make a difference.
"I'm looking to make Hempstead as great as it can be and that means working with my fellow trustees," Brown Young says.