Congratulations to Waldorf senior Gerard Burnett Jr., who received the Minister Gerard Burnett, Sr. Memorial Award during the 26th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Awards Breakfast on January 15th. Organized by Operation Get Ahead, Inc., the annual breakfast celebration took place on Dr. King’s birthday at the Long Island Marriott Hotel in Uniondale.
Operation Get Ahead, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization with more than thirty years of extensive experience in providing diversified programs and services to “at-risk” youth in Nassau County communities. Established in the mid-1970s, the goal of Operation Get Ahead is to provide an array of creative programming and services (such as peer leadership training, youth basketball and trips) that assist young people (as well as older adults) with the successful transitions into adulthood.
Gerard P. Burnett, Sr. was a minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Hempstead and the chief executive of the Carl C. Burnett Funeral Home who passed away in 2011 at the age of 47. He was a longtime community leader who was best known for helping others. Among the many associations he belonged to was 100 Black Men of Long Island as well as the Board of Directors for Operation Get Ahead. Following his death, Operation Get Ahead established the Minister Gerard Burnett, Sr. Memorial Award, which Gerard Jr. presented for the past four years to different “older” adult-leaders in the community at OGA’s annual breakfast celebration that honors and commemorates the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“This year, OGA surprised me when they presented my father’s award to me!” remarked Gerard Jr. “It was such an honor to be in a ballroom full of love with nearly 200 people celebrating Dr. King.”
A Waldorf student since he was 4-years-old when his parents, Regina and Gerard Sr. enrolled him in Kindergarten, Gerard Jr. is a resident of Hempstead, New York. In addition to his rigorous coursework, Gerard Jr. is also an accomplished student-athlete, playing for Waldorf’s varsity soccer and basketball teams and serves as captain of Waldorf’s cross country team. In addition, he sings tenor in the Waldorf Singers and is a member of the School’s The Tri-M Music Honor Society. An avid piano player, Gerard Jr. has been taking piano lessons since he was 5-years-old. Last year, he played the part of Schroeder in Waldorf’s music department’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and next month he will play Seymour Krelborn in “Little Shop of Horrors”. Outside of school, Gerard has worked for the past four years at the Twin Oaks Country Day Camp in Freeport and has worked as an intern at Mitchell & Titus, LLP in New York City.