For the past two years, Richard Celestin’s workshops have been empowering and creating powerful dialogue with our high school students through his Social Justice series. Mr. Celestin is wonderful at facilitating engaging and educational workshops, while guiding our students through sensitive and difficult topics. Every semester, students have left the workshop empowered and excited to continue the discussion in their own classrooms. I myself have found these workshops to be thoughtful and executed in a way that allows our instructors to scaffold it into their own lesson plan. The social Justice series has been an inspiring learning experience for me and I believe for everyone who has had the privilege of attending. Leslie Bialecki, College Now Coordinator, LaGuardia Community College

I am very thankful to Richard for generously giving his time to facilitate workshops and also volunteering to mentor Queens College students who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of law. Richard successfully mentored several pre- law students last year. On a number of occasions Richard has facilitated Resume and Soft Skill Workshops to our students on campus. During these workshops Richard presented relevant information regarding how to write a professional Resume and Cover Letter to our undergraduate students from all majors. Our students were very engaged and stayed after the sessions to ask him follow up questions. Richard is a dedicated professional who is passionate about assisting our students in their career development. Mark Klein, MSW (Career Educator, Queens College)

I’ve worked with Mr. Celestin on multiple occasions involving professional development for students at New York City College of Technology. He has conducted workshops on personal branding, interview skills, and the importance of having a strong mentality for success, which were always concise and extremely relevant. Richard exhibits effective communication and leadership skills and is a wonderful facilitator. With his impressive delivery style, and charismatic persona, Richard Celestin truly knows how to actively engage an audience. Chandrica Siewsankar (Student Life and Development, City Tech)

The workshops That Richard conducted for our young men were engaging and relevant. They thoroughly enjoyed the topics and the conversations kept their interest which can sometimes be difficult. The students connected with the numerous scenarios and stories that you shared. Including personal stories helped the students connect with you even more and trust that you understood their concerns. The students could tell that you were excited to be there and enjoyed speaking with them. This combination helped them to take the conversations to heart and start to think about ways their decisions will affect their future goals. Zaneta George-Cipriani (School Counselor, BILA)

We had the honor and pleasure of having Richard Celestin, Esq. as our keynote speaker at our 2017 commencement ceremony. Mr. Celestin was an engaging speaker for adolescents entering a new stage of life. Mr. Celestin had our student’s captivated with his story of his upbringing in Queens and his experiences as a student with the NYCDOE. He spoke of educators not believing in him and thinking he wouldn’t amount to much. Mr. Celestin spoke of his hard work and that our students should invest in themselves. He used the game of chess as metaphor for life and that making the right moves will help you succeed. He told students to believe in themselves even when others don’t. I think one of the most important things Mr. Celestin instilled on our students who are predominately black and brown students, about the importance of creating a space for yourself in the world. As an educator at John Bowne HS for over 18 years, Mr. Celestin by far the best and most engaging and inspiring speaker we have ever had, a sentiment that was shared with me by many other staff members. Naomi Eutsy (Assistant Principal, John Bowne High School)

I highly recommend Richard Celestin, Esq to any organization that requires a motivational speaker to connect with a diverse audience. His communication skills are able to engage our youth, parents and educators on topics that relate to the world today. We had the opportunity for Richard Celestin to engage our students in various presentations related to topics including immigration and law. Mr. Celestin implemented the Young Debaters Program at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise High School. His presence in our debate team has motivated students to go into the field of law. He is a magnificent speaker who is eager to set the tone for students to interact with his venue Mr. Celestin is a role model for our youth and a remarkable leader in topics that relate to our school communities. Victoria Armano (Principal, AOFE)

Mr. Celestin exudes down-to-earth and dapper professionalism, intelligence, and an unmeasurable drive to become an indispensable change agent. He easily connects with our “hard-to-serve” population allowing them to grasp the realities of what “manhood” really means in both a social and political context. Nakita Vanstory (Justice Community Program @ LaGCC)

I had the liberty of being introduced to Mr. Richard Celestin while working as a community school director in the transfer high school environment for the Child Center of New York. Most of the students didn't receive much support from home and school and lacked motivation and guidance toward their education and transitioning out of high school and into college and career. With the community school model being fairly new to the school, students were having a difficult time forming relationships and connections with teachers, counselors, and school personnel and those connections are necessary in order to aid to the student's social emotional health. After meeting with Richard and learning about his debate program, background and upbringing, I felt he could relate to the students. To assess the student's interest, Richard ran an assembly where he talked about his struggles and hardships of growing up as an African American male and how he was able to obtain an education and find ways to reach higher heights. It was clear that he needed the students to understand that he can relate to them and that they can accomplish great things regardless of how much they are hindered by their status in society and the color of their skin. The students were very receptive and were interested in learning more about how he formed relationships and connections with people in the community and how those relationships helped him become successful. Richard's professional appearance and the way he was able to connect with the students on their level of understanding went a very long way. My staff and I had to start directing the students back to class because they wanted to spend the rest of the day connecting with Richard. It was impressive how he was able to captivate his audience, especially with it being his first interaction with the students. He has an ability to engage and get others to listen and empower them to aspire to their goals. After this interaction, it was clear that Richard would be an asset to the school and my agency. He is currently running programming out of several sites within my agency and I am looking forward to continuing our partnership and assistance to the youth we service. Phoebe Mabry (Child Center of New York.)

Richard has been an advocate to our students in the middle school in several capacities. In addition to teaching debate and advocacy, he has conducted several workshops to our young men focused on overcoming obstacles and striving for success. He has a special way of connecting with the students based on his personal experiences and stories as well as his professional accomplishments. I believe Richard and his programs should be in every school and organization dealing with youth. Richard is an asset to our school community and we are appreciative of his support! Greg Hudson (Teacher, Renaissance M.S.)

Our educational prayers were answered when our school partnered with Richard Celestine five years ago. Through careful training, modeling and teaching he has transformed the term "argument" into an art form at PS48Q. Richard gives scholars a glimpse of how law research, effective writing, use of text evidence and public speaking are all woven together beautifully in a courtroom. His ability to "connect the dots" for scholars with respect to school and careers is amazing. Richard's approach is effortless and the kids can sense that he really wants to support, that he is a master of his craft, and that he enjoys engaging with them! Finally, Mr. Celestin delivers the goods. He does what he says he will. The impact that his Young Debaters Program has had on my school is inspiring. I can see the difference in my scholars' ability to exude confidence (even when they are nervous), use expressive language and support a claim. Richard Celestin is a walking example of a man who is determined to make a difference in the lives of young people. Patricia Mitchell (Principal, P.S. 48)

It was a pleasure to have Mr. Richard Celestin speak with my staff about the court involved young people. Unfortunately, we have many court-involved students and we want to best support them and their families. On our end of year Professional Development Day, he met with us to discuss how many of our young people end up in the court system and some of the challenges that they may face. He eloquently took the time to explain the terminology and answered all questions from our staff. As a result of that conversation we are hoping to get our young people in his debate program. Mr. Celestin can be an asset to our school community and a role model to our young men; by letting them know that you too can change the trajectory of your life by holding on to your goals and believing in yourself. Anesh Ghoram (Principal, Queens ALC)

Mr. Celestin is an excellent instructor who not only has great passion and enthusiasm for teaching to high school students, but also has a solid command of the college-level teaching methodology. A quote from Parker Palmer best describes Mr. Celestin’s classroom efforts: “Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher. Erika Heppner, LAGCC

Professor Celestin demonstrated clear objectives for the class, logical sequencing of material, and excellent budgeting of time. The material was interesting and many students participated in the discussion. He should be commended for a presentation that was second to none. Professor Celestin has a professional and thoughtful relationship with his students and effectively engages them. This is an excellent instructor who knows the subject matter thoroughly. He is a master at presenting and I commend him for an excellent job! Dr. Martin Garfinkle, City Tech