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  • Writer's pictureIvette Guillermo-McGahee

Congratulations to all students who received the "Latino Leadership Scholarship" by the HHC

On July 22, 2021, The Hammonton Health Coalition (HHC) had a small ceremony for Latino youth to celebrate their resiliency through the pandemic and support their next steps in their career. We had food, music, and a few speeches from some of the students. A total of 7 students received a scholarship. Allies in Caring currently leads the Hammonton Health Coalition.

Christopher was one of the scholarship recipients. Here is Christopher's story:

"My name is Christopher, and I am 18 years old in my last year of high school. I am Mexican and Haitian, and I live in a small town called Hammonton in New Jersey. My life has been a real-life roller coaster ride. I did not have an easy childhood, but I have big goals and dreams that I want to accomplish. I have always worked hard for everything I have wanted, and I have learned to appreciate everything I am given.

I want to go to college and work hard for a better life for my family and me. To begin, my parents got divorced when I was around seven years old, and I was raised by a single mother working well below the minimum wage. We have always lived in small apartments. I am now 18, and I have never had my own bedroom. I've never had a father figure in my life or had a good relationship with my father. I have had to appreciate everything my mother has been able to give my little sister and me all by herself.

My mother and my aunt have always been my rock, and I look up to them for all their hard work. Life has not been easy for me, but I have always tried to look at the bright side of things. From a young age, I was able to escape from reality and the world around me through sports. I have played and participated in football, soccer, cross country, and track. I loved being part of a team, and I love working hard to improve myself.

I started working out and going to the gym when I was in 7th grade. Even when times were tough, sports and fitness have always helped me get through them. It took me some time to realize a career in the sports/fitness world would be perfect for me. My mother came to this country, leaving everything behind in Mexico, including the ones she loved. In order to give her children a better life, she sacrificed her own.

I want to prove to her that her sacrifices were worth it. I want to set a good example for my sister, and I want to prove anything is possible if you set your mind to it. I am very excited yet scared for what the future holds, but I know I will be ready for it."

Allies in Caring offers affordable in-person and virtual counseling and educational programs to foster resilience, promote healing, and bring people together in meaningful interactions. Services are available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL.) Learn about our services here:

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