Life isn’t fair. Sometimes, it’s downright cruel.
How 20 graduating Camden high school seniors overcame that fact not only earned them the designation of “remarkable,” but recognition from the city and school district on Wednesday night.
“These remarkable graduates embody the best of Camden; they represent the incredible intelligence, potential, and determination that exists throughout our city,” Superintendent Paymond Rouhanifard said.
During Wednesday night’s second annual award ceremony at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, in East Camden, Mayor Dana Redd joined with parents and special guests — including New Jersey native and host of the Power99 Rise and Grind Morning Show, Mina SayWhat — to commend the students.
Below are Camden’s “remarkable” graduates and a vignette provided by the school district of what they fought through on the road to graduation.
Monica Amador-Chacon bounced around for much of her youth — she had already lived in seven different states by the time she was 15. She and her family were homeless on multiple occasions, yet the economic and social hardships did not dim the high aspirations within her. After arriving at Woodrow Wilson High School for her sophomore year, Monica is now graduating in the top 10 of her class. Next year, she will attend Camden County College and she hopes to become a secondary education teacher focusing on history.
Denisha Branch has epilepsy, and despite trying a variety of treatments, she frequently has low-level seizures and occasionally has grand mal seizures, which can involve a loss of consciousness and muscle contractions. That hasn’t slowed her down.