COMMUNITY SERVICE: Aida Vernon is the president of Briarwood Action Network, a civic association that addresses problems in the Briarwood community.
BACKGROUND: Vernon was actually born in Brooklyn and grew up in Rego Park. She has been living in Briarwood since 1996. By day, Vernon is a lawyer, by night she is president of the Briarwood Action Network.
She started the Briarwood Action Network in the summer of 2011. She wanted to create a forum for her neighbors to voice their community concerns. She formed this group out of the impulse to engage with neighbors.
“I, along with the collaboration of the members of the board, am very passionate to get people involved and helping the community,” said Vernon.
GOALS: According to Vernon, the Briarwood Action Network does not have one single focus.
“Along with the help of the NYC Department of Parks and the event “It’s My Park Day,” we were able to get our community involved in the beautification of [Hoover Park],” said Vernon.
In addition to holding informational meetings for the neighborhood to voice its concerns, the group has also conducted holiday food and toy drives, collecting 1,600 food items this holiday season. In the coming year, Vernon hopes to continue with the projects they have been working on.
BEST MEMORY: Out of everything the Briarwood Action Network has accomplished Vernon said her favorite memory has to be the It’s My Park Day, which they have been holding every spring and fall.
“Everyone gets involved, from younger kids to senior citizens, they all come to plant flowers, listen to the live jazz music, and the event has proven to be a great way to get people involved.”
The Briarwood Action Network also received an award for its outstanding participation in It’s My Park Day.
INSPIRATION: Vernon credits her fellow board members as her inspiration. “They are all so passionate about what we do, and I could not have done it without them,” said Vernon.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: According to Vernon, their biggest challenge is getting more people actively involved. “Our key goal is to inspire others to do with us,” she said.
- Star of Queens: Fran Goulston, founding member, co-chair, Lindenwood Alliance
- Star of Queens: Vita Leone, P.S./M.S. 207 PTA vice president
- Star of Queens: Jessame Hannus, Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee co-chair; Biking Public Project co-founder