Queens received a royal visitor on Sunday, October 23.
Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark, made a stop in Queens during her recent trip to New York. The Princess honored the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, located in the New York City Housing Authority’s Queensbridge North development in Long Island City.
Riis Settlement House is a community-based nonprofit organization with historical ties to Denmark. It supports and provides service to more than 450 youths, adults, seniors and families a day, and approximately 10,000 during the course of the year.
While at Riis, the Princess met with staff, board members, program participants and local community leaders, including Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, State Assemblymember Francisco Moya, City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Riis Executive Director William T. Newlin, Riis Board Chair Michael Bingold and Riis Chair Emeritus C. Flemming Heilmann.
After meeting previous participants of the Danish Cultural Exchange program, the Princess spent some time with members of the Riis Academy Girls Inspiring in Real Life (GIRL) program, who set up a presentation for the Princess.
GIRL focuses on the emotional, physical, and academic development of 50 middle school and high school girls through discussion groups, health workshops, technology skills and visual arts.
The Princess interacted with both the instructor and students, as they discussed positive body images for young women.
As she said her goodbyes, the Princess received bouquets of flowers, hugs and well wishes from some of the settlement’s youngest participants.