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The City of Rochester will honor local gospel celebrity Serena Young, who recently competed in BET's top-rated show, Sunday Best.
On Tuesday, August 26th, Mayor Lovely Warren will present Young with a proclamation during her recognition ceremony in the second floor atrium of City Hall, 30 Church Street, Rochester, New York.
Event attendees will experience live entertainment that will include local gospel and R&B artists, a monologue depicting Young's 20 year journey, and a special presentation from Buffalo, New York's Praise and worship extraordinaire, Wynetta McElveen. Local politicians and community leaders such as Monroe County Legislator Willie Lightfoot, Pastor Melvin Cross (Gloryhouse International), and several media organizations are expected to be in attendance to celebrate Rochester's national gospel superstar.
When asked about her journey on the seventh season of BET's Sunday Best, Young said:
"Making it to the top five of the competition was a blessing that has set me up for greater opportunities. Not only was I a competitor, but I was a role model and inspiration to the other contestants who referred to me as "Momma Rena". They (the contestants) were shocked to learn that I have been in the business for over 20 years-while most of them were in diapers, I was singing about the glory of the Lord."
In the early 90's, Young was a part of a gospel group called "Uneek" where she earned her claim to fame as a signed artist to Tyscoot Records, the same label responsible for the progressive career of International Gospel artist Deitrick Haddon.
Although she's excited about her recognition from the City that has given her so many opportunities, Serena Young says that she is dedicated to continue to deliver the message of HOPE through her participation with youth organizations and, her commitment to bringing awareness and raising funds for cancer and diabetes.
"My father, who is the backbone of my life and my career, has given me so much hope. He was once diagnosed with cancer but now he's healed and able to tell the world that, with faith and focus, the impossible is achievable... this is why I've been at it for so long- this is why I refuse to give up."
As of Sunday, August 17th, Serena "Simply Rena" Young was eliminated from BET's Sunday Best, making it to the TOP 5 out of more than twenty thousand contestants from around the world.
Young talked about her new relationships with Yolanda Adams, Kierra Sheard, and Donnie McClurkin and her ongoing friendship with Kim Burrell:
"I am overwhelmed with joy from the wisdom and support that I received from those who I admire in the business... they understood my journey and made it clear that greater things are about to happen."
Since the conclusion of the recording, Young has received a ton of inquires regarding her availability to bless the stage at major events and celebrations throughout the nation.
For this Gospel Powerhouse, The Journey Continues and she wishes to share a piece of her success with her Rochester family at the upcoming Proclamation.