Queens Community House Honors LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams and Rapper Meyhem Lauren at Annual Gala
NEW YORK (October 2022) – Queens Community House (QCH), one of the borough’s largest social service organizations, honored Kenneth Adams, President of LaGuardia Community College, and Meyhem Lauren, rapper and former QCH participant during its Annual Gala at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria on October 12.
Close to 200 people were in attendance to support QCH, which serves more than 25,000 children, youth, adults, and older adults every year.
“QCH’s Annual Gala is dedicated to celebrating the changemakers who have done so much to support Queens through the years, and Kenneth Adams and Meyhem Lauren are certainly deserving of this honor for the work they’ve done and continue to do for the community,” said QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases.
Adams became President of LaGuardia Community College in 2020. In 2021, he launched a campaign to raise $15 million to help LaGuardia students and Queens residents recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, LaGuardia launched the NYC Accelerated Workforce Recovery Hub, an initiative to help low-income communities in Queens and The Bronx that were upended by the pandemic. “The Hub is preparing youth and adults who have lost their livelihoods because of COVID-19 for careers in high-demand sectors, and QCH is proud to be one of two Queens service providers with whom LaGuardia chose to partner in this effort,” said Ivonne Torres, QCH Associate Executive Director for Young Adult Services.
Last November, QCH partnered with Meyhem Lauren and Timberland to surprise youth program participants with free turkeys and Timberland boots. “Meyhem Lauren has always been such a selfless and caring individual since I’ve known him, so it wasn’t a surprise when he reached out to make that event happen for Queens residents,” said Patrick Pinchinat, QCH Director of the Pomonok Community Center.
During Meyhem Lauren’s acceptance speech, he talked about QCH’s impact on his life growing up. “QCH helped raise me,” he said. “QCH provided me with a place to hang out, to play ball, to stay out of the street, to stay positive, and a place of employment in my late teens.”
QCH exceeded their fundraising goal of $500,000, and proceeds will be used toward supporting QCH’s more than 50 programs in 15 Queens neighborhoods. “It’s heartening to see this level of support for QCH,” said Thomases. “Their support is vital to the work we do for individuals and families across the borough."
Sponsors for the event included Goldman Sachs, Pre-Clivity Foundation, Bank of America, Citco, Citibank, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Chase, Lamb Insurance, Morgan Stanley, and many others, including more than 19 advocate sponsors.
Left to right: Michael Stellman, QCH Board President; Ivonne Torres, QCH Associate Executive Director for Young Adult Services; Kenneth Adams, President of LaGuardia Community College; and Ben Thomases, QCH Executive Director. Kenneth Adams is honored at QCH's Annual Gala on October 12 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY.
Queens Community House (QCH) is a multi-service settlement house committed to serving the diverse neighborhoods of Queens. QCH serves more than 25,000 children, youth, adults, and older adults every year. Our mission is to provide individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities. Through a broad network of programs operating out of 39 sites in 15 neighborhoods, we offer Queens residents a needed support system at every stage of life, helping them to develop the knowledge, confidence, and skills to change their lives for the better and become active participants in their larger community.
Director of Communications
Queens Community House