Cory Provost is a first generation Brooklynite with Caribbean ancestry. Cory’s family has played an integral part in his life, teaching him the importance of education, access, and advocacy and building awareness through civic engagement–especially in the minds of our youth.
After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in East New York Brooklyn, Cory continued his education at Brooklyn College. His passion for inquiry led him to acquire a degree in Philosophy and Law (B.A.). During his undergraduate tenure, Cory was active across campus, seeking ways to involve the community and the college. He was president of both the NAACP College Chapter at Brooklyn College and the campus’ Mentoring Alliance, often using the influence of these organizations to bring college students closer to the communities around them. One of the most significant initiatives Cory helped organize was the Brooklyn College Mentoring Alliance Shadow Day, which brought teenagers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds into college classrooms, giving them a glimpse of the promise of higher education.
After becoming one of the few in his family with a college degree, Cory, in an effort to further invest in his education and his community, decided to pursue a Masters Degree in Urban Policy and Administration at Brooklyn College. He began his degree with an internship with both, Assemblyman William Scarborough of Jamaica, Queens and with the Brooklyn College Children Studies Center. During this time, Cory, the Assemblyman, Rodney Pride of OCFS and a host of very committed individuals, developed the Million Father’s Club, an organization charged with bringing resources together to develop healthy family relationships. Cory’s dedication to this cause allowed him the opportunity to remain a part of the organization’s steering committee even after the completion of his internship. While working on his education Cory also took time to work with the community. He worked with State Senator Kevin Parker on several community events, including Job Fairs that taught residents skills, helping them acquire access to employment.
In 2009, the graduate students at Brooklyn College elected Cory Provost as their class President. He was also elected the Chairperson of The University Student Senate which, since 1972, has been the only has been the only student governance body with elected student delegates from all the branches of The City University of New York, representing over 400,000 CUNY students across the five boroughs. Cory is now the youngest member, since 2009, of the Board of Trustees for the City University of New York (www.cuny.edu). As a trustee Cory is responsible for helping to shape the direction of public higher education within New York City.
Cory is also the Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for Young Movement (www.youngmovement.org), a New York based not-for-profit think tank that provides research and advocacy on socioeconomic issues affecting young people ages 18–35, and forms meaningful partnerships for its members. Cory also serves as the Executive Liaison to the Haitian American Caucus (www.hacus.org): a driving coalition movement to improve the lives of the Haitian-American community and its allies.
Q&A With Cory Provost
BS: What inspired you to be so involved in your community?
Cory Provost: Just by taking a real look around my community and comparing it to others. The word affluent is more than just an adjective, its a way of life–a reality only few get to experience yet most dream about.
BS: Do you aspire to be in politics? If so, what changes you assure to make for the betterment of your community?
Cory Provost: Yes, our political system is something that works, we just have to make it work for us. I saw and experienced the disparity of having vs not having, specifically in the education system, and I believe it should be a leveled area that truly gives everyone the same chance to succeed. I believe through education anything can be accomplished.
BS: Do you believe that an individual must possess and attain a high role within society to make a difference?
Cory Provost: Absolutely not. Matthew 7:12 says: “do to others what you would have them do to you” and I believe following this principle is all that is needed to make a true difference in society.
BS: What principles do you live by? How do they influence your daily decisions and life?
Cory Provost: My number one principle is “do to others what you would have them do to you”—Matthew 7:12; this sets the stage for your life.
BS: If you had the opportunity to speak to everyone within the Black Community, what would you say?
- Always strive for the best and put your all in whatever it is that you do.
- Understand what you want and develop a plan to get there–and stay focused until you get there.
BS: What are your future goals and aspirations?
Cory Provost: My immediate goals are to complete my formal education, I will be graduating with my Masters in June and then looking towards law school.