Against All Odds

NEW’s Youth Enrichment Program Participant, Leslie Campos, is headed to college and will attend Bowie State University to pursue a pre-med degree.  She graduated from Duke Ellington School for the Arts this spring.

“I am ready to go to college!” Leslie said. “I love science and I want to help people.” Leslie will be the first in her family to attend college. This summer she has attended a six-week summer program at Bowie to help prepare her for college. Before she left, Leslie received an outpouring of support from our NEW donors who purchased items for Leslie off her Amazon college wish list. From a computer to shower slippers, the items helped Leslie get on her way!

Until Leslie, her three siblings and mom made it to NEW, life was not stable. They were in and out of shelters and schools. When they got to NEW, Leslie started attending the Saturday YEP enrichment activities to places she otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to like the movies or out to eat. This year she was especially thankful to the NEW staff who helped her figure out how to apply to college. One staff member even took her to visit Bowie State for a day.

“I am very proud of Leslie’s success and perseverance,” said NEW Executive Director Wanda Steptoe. “When I started YEP, I knew there were kids out there like Leslie who just needed the support to succeed in school. I look forward to following her success as she embarks on this new chapter.”

Another YEP student, Javonne’ Coleman graduated from The Maya Angelou Public Charter School in May. Javonne had to overcome myriad difficulties to succeed. He has been accepted to Virginia State University.

NEW is proud of our high school graduates!

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It’s been a challenging time for all of us as we adjust our days, our budgets and our expectations to COVID-19. And now, add a city and country grasping for footing after the death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer and we all feel even more out of control, unstable, and concerned about the future. Here at NEW we know that one way we can process our own feelings is to think about the needs and feelings of others.

We need you. The women need you. Your community needs you. Now more than ever women and children in DC need a safe and stable place to live.