Feeling that the lack of a high school diploma was the only thing holding her back, Shante was ready to create a successful path for herself. Upon hearing great things about Camden Corps Plus, a collaborative initiative between Center For Family Services and Rutgers University –Camden, Shante decided she would attend an Open House to familiarize herself with the program and the benefits that would follow.
Intrigued by the opportunity to reignite her educational pursuits, in addition to receiving her high school diploma and career-based training, Shante realized that Camden Corps Plus was a program that would change the course of the rest of her life.
It did not take long for Shante to become entrenched in the fabric of the program, as she saw that Camden Corps Plus was paying off dividends. Thinking about the growth she has experienced since joining Camden Corps Plus, Shante said “I learned that I really can be a part of moving Camden forward, helping out to the best of my abilities.”
With a newfound sense of empowerment, Shante has taken on a role with Cure4Camden, Center For Family Services’ community-based program using innovative methods to stop shootings and violence in Camden City.
Shante, who faced a life-threatening event in the past, found that Cure4Camden was a great cause to lend her efforts to and subsequently create a positive impact. Through her volunteer efforts with Cure4Camden, Shante is setting an example for her children and other local youth, showing them that there are alternatives to diffusing a conflict.
As a result of Camden Corps Plus and Cure4Camden, Shante is now more prone to empathizing with others and having a positive attitude. These interpersonal skills, she says, will go a long way in helping her as she pursues a career in Law Enforcement, a field in which one is constantly interacting with different personalities and mannerisms.
Shante also credits Camden Corps Plus for highlighting the importance of professional conduct. Quickly realizing that her peers were looking up to her as a role model, Shante made sure that she was embodying the ideals of the program.
“Prior to joining Camden Corps Plus, I’d say I was a leader, but sometimes in the wrong way. But with Camden Corps Plus, I learned how to lead in a positive manner and how to use different things that I’ve gone through to stop others that might be headed in that same direction.”
Reflecting on her past, Shante says she never would have expected to be in this type of setting where she’s taking on [positive] leadership roles and capitalizing on resources that will benefit her in the long run.
Explaining her appreciation for the opportunity she was presented with in Camden Corps Plus and what it has done for her personal development, Shante said, “Anything is possible. Always take the chance to move in a positive direction because at the end of the day, you never really know how far you can go.”