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Amari discovered real strength, thanks to you

"I learned that instead of fighting, I am strong enough to walk away."

AmariMy name is Amari. I am 15 years old and live in Brooklyn with my mom, dad and little brother.

My neighborhood can be rough. Sometimes I feel like someone is following me down the street. I see a lot of fights at school and used to think that you have to fight to get what you want.

I first heard about The Bowery Mission’s Mont Lawn Camp at school and started to go 3 years ago. At the beginning, I didn’t really want to go, but I ended up really liking it.

Now I look forward to going back each summer because it is fun. I try a lot of new things like swimming, canoeing and sleeping in a tent. One of my favorite things to do at Camp is play sports like soccer and football with my friends.

Another great thing about Camp is that the counselors are pretty cool. They joke around with us, but they listen and understand us, too.

They taught me about being a leader and how to speak up for others and stand up for myself. But in a respectful way, like when I was robbed at school. Normally I would have fought back. But going to Mont Lawn Camp has taught me that violence is not the best answer. Instead of risking my life in a fight, I know I am strong enough to walk away.

Now I go to The Bowery Mission’s Mont Lawn City Camp every week during the school year too. If I didn’t go, I would probably hang out with the wrong people and make bad choices. But now I have good friends and a plan for my future. My goal is to get a college scholarship and have a successful business. I want to work hard. A lot of people from camp believe in me, so I know I can do it.


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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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