Leslie Green was born in Kings County Hospital and hasn’t stopped giving back to Kings County ever since.
The single mother of three runs her own theater company, puts on a prom dress giveaway, gives young men etiquette lessons, and writes children’s books. Green — who has lived all over the borough, planting her seeds in Crown Heights, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and now Canarsie — knows she’s taken on a lot, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
“If I can provide a service and a need, I think that’s what I’m here to do,” she said. “I want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”
Green, who recently retired after 30 years as an occupational therapy assistant, is the founder of Potpourri of Color, a performing arts company through which she’s written, produced, and directed 16 plays since 2004. She has put on productions with kids as young as 4 and partners with Canarsie adult day care center Golden Age, directing its performances of skits and holiday shows throughout the year. Green said she goes all out for the shows — and her performers take notice.
“Whenever they know that she is doing one, they look forward to it,” said Janet Vellon, who works at Golden Age and has partnered with Green on the productions for three years. “They look forward to that.”
And when she isn’t taking the stage, the Woman of Distinction is hard at work on her many other projects, including her “Treat Her Like A Lady” prom dress giveaway she puts on each spring.
“I call it that because I feel like our young ladies don’t know how they should be treated,” she said.
She puts out a call for donations and buys the glitzy gowns for those who can’t afford their own. Teens from across the city flock to the giveaway to try on the dress of their dreams. And serving the young ladies are boys who Green has given lessons in the art of being a gentlemen. It may seem like a lot of work to some, but Green said it’s all worth it come prom night.
“It’s definitely been rewarding, especially when the young ladies send me a picture the day of prom and they look so pretty,” she said.
And those who work with Green on the annual event said she’s determined to make sure each girls’ prom night dream comes true.
“She just wants to see these young girls in the community have a decent dress,” said Kimberly Gaffney, who has volunteered since the giveaway’s inception four years ago. “She’s an awesome being.”
To round out her resume, Green has authored several children’s books, including one titled “I Can Only Be Me,” about embracing uniqueness.
She also boasts an impressive list of civic contributions, such as serving on three community boards. But no one needs to applaud her for her work, she says — she’s the one who should be thankful.
“I feel truly blessed and grateful,” Green said.
Theater company owner.
Company: Potpurri of Color.
Claim to fame: Playwriting.
Favorite Brooklyn Place: The area around Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum, I grew up in that area.
Woman I Admire: Michelle Obama, because in spite of all the odds, she’s persevered to get to the top. That’s something I find admirable. She’s very articulate and clear about what she says and I like that about her.
Motto: To inspire, enlighten, and encourage all people that I come in contact with.
©2018 Community News Group
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