A picture of Representative José E. Serrano
Jose S.
Democrat NY 15

About Rep. Jose
  • Tribute to Mr. Richard R. Buery, Jr.

    by Representative José E. Serrano

    Posted on 2013-02-08

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    SERRANO of new york in the house of representatives Friday, February 8, 2013 Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, as the Nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and observes the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I rise today to honor Mr. Richard R. Buery, Jr. The son of a retired New York City public school teacher and a retired lab manager, Richard was born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn, where he knew early on he wanted to level the playing field for the young men and women he played with growing up.



    As a freshman at Harvard University, he began to volunteer at an after-school program at a nearby public housing complex at Roxbury, Massachusetts. It was here during this summer experience where Richard began to see the opportunity and need to develop quality youth programming for underserved communities. After attending and graduating from Yale Law School, Richard worked as a staff attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice, and later became a law clerk to Judge John M. Walker, Jr. of the Federal Court of Appeals in New York City. Even with his success as an attorney he still felt the need to serve young people in underserved communities remained.

    Displeased with what was being offered as youth programming in East New York, in 2002, he co-founded and served as the Executive Director of Groundwork, Inc. His mission for the organization was clear, he wanted it to respectfully serve and support the young people in East New York in the manner that he believed his friends needed to have been supported when he was growing up. Under his leadership Groundwork grew to become a comprehensive youth development organization that served more than 3,000 youths and whose annual budget grew from $1 million to $6 million dollars.

    His success in the youth development world led to the Children's Aid Society selecting Buery in October 2009 as its tenth President and Chief Executive Officer. He is the first African American to lead the venerable New York charitable organization, whose mission is help children in poverty succeed and thrive. As the President and CEO, Mr. Buery has used his prior experience at Groundwork to enhance the development of the Children's Aid Society's Bronx flagship program--the Next Generation Center. Located in the 15th Congressional District the Next Generation Center is a community-based service and youth development program geared to provide the necessary social support mechanisms young men and women need to transition safely to adulthood. Many of the participants are Bronx at-risk youth who have aged out of the foster care system.

    The young men and women of the Bronx who participate in the programming provided at the Next Generation Center know they have an ally in Richard R. Buery, Jr. They know he will not quit on them, label them or turn them away.

    Mr. Speaker, it fills me with hope as I reflect on Mr. Buery's service to the residents of New York City and to the constituents of the 15th Congressional District, that we have an enormously talented leader whose commitment to changing the lives of those young men and women has no boundaries. I ask you and my colleagues to join me in recognizing the past, present and future accomplishments of Mr. Richard R. Buery, Jr.

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