Street Named For Boimah
"A Sign of Courage"

With Boimah's fellow students Ayson, Tyrell and Cory, from left: Jeff Gongoer Dowana, Sr., Liberian Consul General; City Councilman Michael McMahon; Sandra Barnes, Principal PS 57; UFT President Randy Weingarten; Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott; Patricia Lockhart; Assemblywoman janele Hyer=Spencer.

October 20, 2007


A street sign in memory of a profile in courage was dedicated today on Staten Island at the corner of Hanover Place and Palma Drive, just outside PS 57, where hero Boimah Cooper, a 6-year-old boy from Liberia, was briefly a student beloved by all prior to his death in February 2006.

The orphan was discovered by a group from the Staten Island Liberian Community Association during a humanitarian relief mission in February 2005. He was found crying under a tree with bones bulging from his back, unable to walk.

One of his rescuers was Patricia Lockhart, a teacher and chapter leader at PS 57, who adopted Boimah and helped raise funds to bring him to the United States for spinal reconstructive and other surgery. Ultimately, however, Boimah succumbed to long-term untreated tuberculosis.

At the street sign ceremony for the newly named Boimah Cooper Drive, Ms. Lockhart thanked the UFT for its assistance in paying for Boimah’s funeral expenses, and President Randi Weingarten for offering to travel to Liberia for the opening of the Clinton Foundation-supported school, clinic and playground in Boimah’s home village. “Boimah Cooper’s spirit was anything but frail,” said Ms. Weingarten. “It was powerful and beautiful and a lesson in love for us all.”

In attendance:
Patricia Lockart, Boimah's "mommmy" and President of the BCMF
Randi Weingarden, UFT President
Dennis Walcott, Deputy Mayor
Michael E. McMahon, NYC Councilman for Staten Island
janele Hyer Spencer, Assemblywoman
Ms. Sandra E. Barnes, Principal of PS 57
Jeff Gongoer Dowana, NYC Consulate of Liberia
Dr. Lonner, Boimah's surgeon.
Christine Hollie, S.I. University Hospital,
Thomas Paolo, S.I. Parks Commissioner Pastor Dave Watson, Calvary Baptist Church
James Weah, SILCA
Bomi County Association President
Friends, students, parents, and teachers