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Paul Has a Better Life Ahead — Thanks to You!

"I easily could have gone down the same wrong path as some of my friends."

Programs for Children

PaulMy name is Paul. I’m 16 years old, and I’ve spent most of my life in a tough neighborhood in Harlem. My father is a drug addict, but he’s not around. It’s always been that way. It used to make me sad when I was younger.

In my neighborhood, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that happens, like drugs, sex and gangs. In fact, many of my friends have gotten into these things.

My mom raised me right, but she couldn’t protect me from everything. So when my mom heard about The Bowery Mission’s Mont Lawn Camp, a Christian summer camp for kids, she decided I should go.

I was 9 years old the first time I went, and I loved all the fun things to do, like rock climbing, hiking and picking blueberries. But swimming was my favorite. I had always wanted to learn how to swim, but never got a chance to learn until camp.

I enjoyed camp so much, I went every summer. But when I turned 13, that was a hard year for me. I struggled with a lot of stuff my mom couldn’t help me with. I was really anxious and shy, and I had a hard time opening up to people.

Mont Lawn Camp helped me get a mentor, and I was able to start going to tutoring, workshops and other activities during the school year. It was fun, kind of like going to summer camp all year long!

Without The Bowery Mission, it could have been really bad. I could have spent my summers on the streets. But now, thanks to Mont Lawn Camp, I’ve decided to become a Camp Counselor myself this summer. In fact, someday I want to study child psychology in college and work with children when I grow up.

I'm really grateful to The Bowery Mission and Mont Lawn Camp, because now I have a real future.


Inner-city, at-risk kids like Paul need love and long-term nurturing to help them mature into responsible adults and reach their full potential. Your gifts make that happen. Thank you for helping to change the life direction of youth for the better.

Your gift will make a difference

Every day, The Bowery Mission's programs for men, women and children are making a life-transforming difference for people experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, unemployment and other crises. Your online gift today will go to work immediately providing meals, shelter, medical care and long-term recovery for adults; or mentoring and enrichment opportunities for youth.

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