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Summer Camp @ New Hope Charities 2012

When 65 kids from Pahokee are asked what they did on their summer vacation they will have quite a story to tell!

 New Hope Charities summer camp just concluded a full, fun and action packed program. Campers enjoyed art and soccer modules thanks to a grant from the Center for Creative Education. For the first time ever they enjoyed a golf program with the assistance of Coach Jack, thanks to a grant from First Tee, and have completed wonderful art projects with art teacher Paul Wallace.

Day trips included visits to Lion Country Safari and Jungle Island that were sponsored in part by a generous gift from Lourdes and Jose Pepe Fanjul, Jr. Daily activities at the Family Center in Pahokee included a literacy program created in collaboration with the Palm Beach County Library System, where the children participated in a reading club. They each received a copy of a book read as a gift. As always the computer lab was a favorite activity and all of the students rotated through the lab to access educational and fun sites with games and activities.

A highlight of this summer was the participation of art teacher Paul Wallace from the Center on Creative Education. Mr. Wallace said of his New Hope Charities experience, “I enjoy working with the kids because they remind me of myself many years ago. I was lucky to have had very good mentors in a facility not unlike New Hope when I was a kid living in a poor neighborhood. It made a big difference in my life and I like that I can give back to kids in a similar situation.”

 This year afforded the children a unique opportunity to have a counselor who was once a student at New Hope Charities After-School Program. Eric Lawson attended the program from 2001 through 2007. This year he requested to return to the center as a counselor. When we talk about success stories of NHC students Eric is a perfect example of both academic success and the desire to give back to his community. Eric is currently a junior at University of Florida. Of his experience at New Hope Charities he said, “I always think about New Hope and what it did for me. New Hope kept me out of trouble and the staff was always nice to me. I like being able to return and help the program that helped me so much”. Family Center Director, Guillermo Rivera stated, “Eric was a tremendous addition to our staff this past summer. The kids easily identified with him when they learned he was a former NHC student and learned that they too can succeed in whatever they choose to do in the future.”