Through CHNJ’s Dove Learning Center program, youth identified and researched famous Black figures to celebrate Black History Month. Some of the famous influencers selected were the Tuskegee Airmen, the three (now) Black female NASA mathematicians featured in the movie Hidden Figures, and many more.
The youth served at CHNJ (who are 60% Black) are also making history of their own. They are emerging from the darkness and loneliness of the streets to the warmth and love of CHNJ. Once there, residents learn resilience skills to successfully transition to independent living.
Often, they’re changing not only their lives, but those of the next generation. For example, watch Jamila share her story about arriving at CHNJ in 2008, pregnant, angry and not trusting. In the video, hear about her journey from attending our moms and babies program (Raphael’s Life House) to becoming a working, single mom. Jamila is a successful mother of two beautiful boys and has obtained her BA from Rutgers. Now, she is working hard to become a social worker at Legacy Oaks Charter School in Newark.
So as we close Black History Month, we salute all the amazing Black figures of the past and present. But we also salute our youth like Jamila who emerged from the darkness to make generational change. And we thank all of the CHNJ community for helping to make all this change possible.