Youth Stories


Good Evening,

My name is Sha and I’m a junior in high school. My dad heard about the program at his job in Camden, and decided to let me try it out. Since then I’ve really liked it a lot and come every week.

Just a little about me… I live in the Parkside area of Camden with my dad, stepmom, and brothers. Sometimes my middle school aged brother comes to LUCY with me and my friends. I attend Brimm Medical Arts High school in Camden and am interested in the medical field for college and after I graduate.

People tend to stick together in Camden from what I’ve seen. That’s one thing I love about this city. There are many people who choose to go down the wrong path but then there are the people who try to help others get through the pain crime has caused in this city. I wish everyone could see that violence is not the answer to everything.

Even though I just started at LUCY I know it’s the right place for me. It’s become a place where I can come to feel comfortable. I can truly be myself there and not be judged by others. Knowing this helped me bring two of my best friends with me, Talia and Dhalia. We always come to youth nights and go on trips together now. I’m so grateful for the new friends I’ve made too.

I was able to visit one of my top choice schools for the future with LUCY, Rowan University. We got to speak to an admissions advisor there and she told us about different majors on campus. It would be ideal for me to go into school to be Pre-Med and eventually become a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. College tours let me know what I need to do to prepare for college. Many of the trips are more personalized and we get to speak with current students.

Thanks for all your support!



My name is Kayla and I am a sophomore at Penn Tech. I live in Camden with my Dad and grandparents. My grandparents have raised me since I was little and I’m very grateful for all they’ve sacrificed to become my parents through these years!

LUCY has always been a place for me to have fun, and learn. Its also a place for many people to get away from all their troubles and also keeps them out of it (me included). This place is a safe environment and encourages us all to do better. I’ve been here at LUCY since I was in 5th or 6th grade but it feels like yesterday. I want to be an FBI agent when I get older and no one has ever discouraged me from following that dream. At LUCY they teach us that anything is possible if we set our minds to it and work hard.

Even though I see things that some suburban kids may only see in movies happen in my neighborhood, I still manage to get up and go to school every day and not complain or feel bad for myself. Along with my family and friends, LUCY encourages me to do that.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about our program.


Mir here! 🙂

I’m 11 years old and I go to St. Joe’s Pro-Cathedral School. I just started going to LUCY this year with my 7th grade Uncle Jadon because they have an afterschool program with homework help, snacks and fun activities, and sometimes we stay for the youth nights with the older kids too.

Camden still has good schools especially the Catholic schools like St. Joe’s. I’m lucky to go their because I know some kids are getting a worse education than me. People who work at LUCY help me with my homework and give us a snack before we start homework time so we can focus on our work. LUCY is one good thing about Camden. They keep kids off the street. I wish they would stop the killing in Camden. I live with my mom, uncle, sister, and Nana. I would like Camden to be safer for them.

LUCY gives me the chance to get out of the house and meet new people. I also get to hang out with some of my friends from school. That makes me happy because I don’t get so see them outside of school. It’s nice to have classmates there if I miss the homework for the day too!

One day I want to be a musician and go to Rutgers University. When I get older I know LUCY will help me keep my grades up to get into a good high school and then help me get to college. I always have a positive attitude and speak my mind. Maybe I can be a LUCY leader one day.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I would appreciate it!

Your Friend,

My name is Taty and I am 14 years old and in 8th grade at St. Cecilia’s. I live in the Fairview neighborhood of Camden with my mom and my siblings.

I wish people knew more about Camden and appreciated it more. Everyone here is not a bad person. I really enjoy seeing how creative people are with street art. Everyone here is so unique and has something important to share. One thing that I want to change about Camden is all of the violence that happens here. The streets are very dangerous and I always hear on the news about someone getting hurt. This is the public image of Camden, no one gets to hear about the good things that happen in this city which is frustrating for kids like me.

I find hope in this city through LUCY. LUCY means everything to me. I always look forward to coming on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on weekend college trips. LUCY is like a big happy family to me. I have just started coming to LUCY in recent months but I have already been welcomed with open arms. I have brought a lot of my friends to LUCY and they have learned to love it too.

I am only in 8th grade but I still think about my future and goals all of the
time. I want to go to college and medical school and become an OB/GYN. I have been at LUCY for only 2 months and have already seen 3 different colleges in that time. Visiting these colleges make me excited for my future and they inspire me to get good grades so I can get into these schools. LUCY has given me new friends and so much support. I cannot wait to see how I grow at LUCY in the coming years.

Thanks for supporting me and all of the other youth at LUCY!


Greetings all,

I am Tau, a 17-year old Junior at Pennsauken High School. I live with my grandparents in Pennsauken right next door to Camden by Urban Promise School. People say that I have a special gift for writing and I’m working on a novel right now. Someday I hope to do big things with my gift of expression.

I want people to understand that Camden is not just another city where people fight and crime roams the streets. There are actual people here with hopes and dreams. I wish people could see this side of Camden instead of just thinking it is all violence. If I had to change something about Camden, it would be the buildings. Everything is so close and it lacks a natural appeal. I wish the city had more physical beauty to portray the beauty of the community we have here.

LUCY is a huge part of my life. It is a place to go, a place to feel, a place to laugh and cry. LUCY is a hopeful place for myself and so many youth in Camden.
My goals in life include a lot of traveling. I want to explore this big world outside of Camden. I believe I can learn a lot from traveling, meeting all kinds of people and experiencing more than I could ever imagine.

Thanks for being you and supporting the future of Camden,



My name is Ashley and I’m 16 years old. I’m a junior attending Camden High. I live with my mom, sister, brother, and niece in East Camden.

Unfortunately my city has been going through a lot recently and I hope that changes soon. Too many young kids and family members are dying. It’s so sad to see a new face on the news because someone was shot or to see RIP posts on social media. I wish the killing would stop so Camden could be a better place. Mothers should not have to be afraid every time their child steps outside their door.

I’m happy because LUCY is becoming a second family to me. I’ve met so many great people there. I always come with my cousin Taty and I was shy at first but now I’m letting my personality come out. I want everyone to know what a great person I am and that LUCY allows me to do that by welcoming me each time I come with open arms.

In the future I hope to make a better life for my family and myself. By going to college and becoming a veterinarian I know I will be able to achieve this goal. I hope to have a huge house for my family. LUCY is this best place to start this goal. I see the staff helping others with the college process. They have also put together plenty of college trips. I’ve gone on some of those trips to schools including Princeton and Rowan Universities. Seeing these schools let me know that if i set my mind to it and work hard I can come back to one of these schools as a LUCY grad and be enrolled as a student.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us.


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