Three "butterflies" at the Butterfly Ball in April 2017. File photo: Courtney Blasl

First District Rep. Lee Zeldin recognized local nonprofit organization the Butterfly Effect Project, and its founder and executive director Riverhead native Tijuana Fulford on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today in Washington. Watch the video.

“I rise today to recognize my constituent Ms. Tijuana Fulford, founder and executive director of the Butterfly Effect Project in Riverhead,” Zeldin said. “In 2014 Ms. Fulford set out to establish a free program to provide young girls with the tools they need to achieve self-confident futures in hopes of bringing forth a generation of strong, independent and knowledgable women. This program has grown from four to 108 young girls with an ever-growing wait list,” Zeldin said.

“These are girls who are empowered with the resources necessary to secure a prosperous future for themselves and their families. Through financial, educational, emotional and career support, the Butterfly Effect Project is building community involvement and curtailing the effects of cultural and mobility limitations,” the congressman said.

“The Butterfly Effect [Project] has provided invaluable service to our community. I applaud Ms. Fulford for her dedication and look forward to witnessing the growth of her organization and the bright future of so many women they support.”

Fulford thanked Zeldin for “giving the Butterflies a voice” and said that the organization appreciated the recognition.

“Sometimes, something as small as one minute can leave a huge impact,” she said in a statement on the group’s Facebook page.

“I am so thankful. Thank you for making a promise and keeping it,” and added . “[Thank you] for putting the needs of our children and our future on the front line.”

 

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María del Mar is a contributor to RiverheadLOCAL and the editor and founder of Tu Prensa Local, a Spanish-language local news outlet on Long Island. Maria has won several awards for her work, including a first place best column award from the New York Press Association. Email Maria