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Camp RISE Spotlight: Ricky S.

Ricky S., age 11, was so excited to be able to attend Camp RISE this summer. He convinced his mom to enroll him after seeing a flyer at his school, excited about the opportunity to earn his first paycheck. During his time at camp Ricky built great friendships with fellow campers and gained a mentor in his group leader, Mr. Babatu, who taught Ricky lessons that have stuck with him long after camp: "I learned how to be a man. Be respectful, never look down, keep going – try and try and try again”.

When Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes spoke at camp, Ricky was chosen to introduce him, which was a highlight of his experience. Ricky also learned about financial literacy and saving money. After treating himself to a pair of sneakers, he plans to save the rest of the money he earned this summer.

Ricky's mother, Ebony, said that since attending Camp RISE Ricky has become more responsible and ready to try new things. She was excited that men in the community came together to be a positive influence on the next generation: "It was wonderful to see the community take hold of youth and redirect them".

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