Youngstown Association of Black Professional Firefighters celebrate 20th anniversary
Quincy Jones Jr.’s top passions are reading detective and mystery books — so much so that they have paved his career path.
“Detective work is interesting to me,” the Cardinal Mooney High School student said.
Also of great interest was Jones’ learning he would be receiving a $500 boost toward his higher-education plans.
Jones and four other Youngstown high school students each received scholarships during Friday’s awards ceremony banquet at The Regency House, 3704 Mahoning Ave. The gathering was to celebrate the Youngstown Association of Black Professional Firefighters’ 20th anniversary.
The organization handed each student a $500 Sharyl Frasier Memorial Scholarship, named after Youngstown’s first black female firefighter.
Jones, who carries a 3.12 grade-point average, said he hopes to be a behavior analyst with the FBI or CIA. Joining Jones were his parents, Quincy Jones Sr. and Sabrina Jones.
The YABPF is a fraternal organization dedicated to recruiting, retaining and promoting qualified minority firefighters, as well as being positive role models in the community, noted Marcia Harris, the city’s chief fire inspector and YABPF’s president.
Along those lines, the organization helps to prepare prospective firefighters for entrance exams, serves as mentors in city schools and participates in community events and outreach efforts, Harris explained.
Echoing those ideals was retired Capt. Ted Everett, who served 27 years with the Youngstown Fire Department and is the Mahoning County Hazmat team’s chief.
Everett, who delivered the keynote presentation, recalled having been persuaded to take the firefighters entrance exam, even though he intended to be a police officer. He was initially reluctant “because I didn’t like fire and I don’t like heights,” he said to laughter.
Since receiving its charter in August 1993, the organization also has participated in the Safe Kids Coalition and, among other things, worked to promote seat-belt safety, Everett noted.
Before Everett’s speech, an award and honor were given to Jesse Carter, the city’s first black firefighter who served with the department from June 1960 until retiring in November 1991.