Hudson High School Senior, also a My Brother’s Keeper Fellow, to Speak During New York State’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Broadcast

Dec. 11, 2023

Press Release: Hudson SHS and MBK Fellow to Speak at 2024 MLK Broadcast

HUDSON, N.Y. – The Hudson City School District is proud to announce that Hudson Senior High School senior and My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) fellow Dejuan Bailey was selected to speak during the 2024 New York State Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. broadcast.

Bailey was one of four individuals selected for the 57-minute broadcast from a pool of 97 fellows. He is the first Hudson student to have this honor. He was interviewed on December 1, 2023, about how Dr. King’s four pillars of resilience, service, faith/unity, and empowerment, as well as the MBK program, have positively influenced his life. 

Chosen for his participation and attendance in Madd Truth Mastermind book-analysis sessions held weekly via Zoom, Bailey is honored to share his experiences at the state level for this momentous occasion.

“I was honestly shocked,” Bailey said. “Out of so many kids in New York State, I was one out of four selected. I’m so grateful.”

In addition to being an MBK fellow, Bailey is a volunteer firefighter for the Greenport Fire Department and a member of the Hudson varsity boys and Columbia County Club soccer teams. He aspires to study criminal justice in college.

My Brother’s Keeper is a grant-funded program that supports boys and young men of color through mentoring and positive relationships so they can reach their greatest potential. Participants work with mentors to develop their academic skills and personal relationships, explore opportunities for higher education, work toward career readiness and team-building, and make positive life choices.

Hudson City School District Superintendent Dr. Juliette Pennyman was ecstatic to see Bailey’s maturation as a young man aspiring to better himself and those he encounters.

“Our school district’s vital partnership with My Brother’s Keeper allows our students to learn the value of giving back, self-purpose, and how to expand in numerous facets of life,” Dr. Pennyman said. “Dejuan Bailey is paving the way for future generations of young men of color to follow, and I couldn’t be more proud and excited for him.”

Hudson Senior High School Guidance Counselor and My Brother’s Keeper advisor Vernon (Rocky) Payne was thrilled about Bailey’s honor. He said such recognition is just one example of how Hudson students make a difference in their District and community.

“I’m very proud of Dejuan for his participation as an MBK fellow and to be chosen for this opportunity,” Payne said. “It’s a testament to his leadership and ability to make a difference in his school and community.”

Hudson City School District Diversity Equity and Inclusion Manager Dr. Tia Pressey also shared her pride in Bailey’s ability to build upon the previous Hudson MBK fellows’ foundation and advance his – and their – positive impact in the community. 

“Dejuan Bailey is a conscientious and focused student who loves to serve the community as a volunteer firefighter. Additionally, he is respected among his peers. His leadership qualities are commendable and will serve him well throughout his life,” Dr. Pressey said.

The 2024 New York State Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. broadcast details will be announced in January. Bailey was recognized for his honor by the Hudson City School District Board of Education at the Nov. 14 meeting.


Photos: Hudson Senior High School senior Dejuan Bailey, accompanied by Dr. Tia Pressey and Vernon (Rocky) Payne, recently was selected to speak during the 2024 New York State Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 57-minute broadcast.