A Cause for Celebration: 15 Camp-to-Career Students Graduate

April 29, 2023 by Analise Narine

This year, May and June—graduation season—came around quickly for the Camp-to-Career program’s 15 high school seniors. As they prepared to graduate, they reflected on how the program supported them throughout the years and the scholarships they received from colleges nationwide. Their families and Camp-to-Career mentors beamed with pride, greeting them with hugs after their diplomas were handed out.

Lori Glanzer, HPUMC Outreach Coordinator, cheered as the students she helped mentor walked the stage. Coach John Carter, Founder and Executive Director of Turner 12 attended as well. This year, many of Camp-to-Career’s students were also part of Turner 12, an HPUMC Outreach partner. They have had this support network since childhood.

The parents of these students appreciate the extra layer of support as their kids aim to reach their goals. “Being in the southern sector and having a mentor that follows you from middle school all the way through to college, I am grateful for the programs,” Shawonna Allen, participant Jaylan Mitchell’s mother, said.

The students also recognize that their parents and mentors are as overjoyed about their accomplishments as they are. “It takes a village to raise a child, so I feel like it’s everybody’s day.” Jaylan Mitchell said. “New journeys, new beginnings—this is where my life starts.”

Camp-to-Career also celebrated a salutatorian this year: Aulajia Morgan. Aulajia attended Lincoln High School with Camp-to-Career participants Jaylan Mitchell and Christian Piedra, who she became friends with, and was encouraged to join the program in January.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all my fellow graduates for their hard work and dedication,” Aulajia said from the stage. “As we move forward, we must continue to challenge ourselves, to push ourselves beyond limitations, and to never give up on our aspirations in life.”

Many of the students in the Camp-to-Career class of 2023, including Aulajia, received scholarships from the colleges they applied to, and the Camp-to-Career team, with the help of HPUMC donors, made sure they received everything they needed for their dorm or apartment. These students are now ready for success; we know they will do great things.