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Photos By: Naomieh Jovin

Words Matter

Kameron was a child when they called him an adult.
Kameron imagined “being great one day,” even when they imagined him irredeemable.
Kameron promised to do better. He has, and he will.

Because his word matters.

Charging a child as an adult does not make them an adult. Kameron, for nine months, was incarcerated in an adult facility. And, in the end, with support from his attorney and YSRP, he was acquitted. For nine months, he – while presumed innocent – was incarcerated amongst adults. Unjustly. Unacceptably. Inexplicably.

We must remember that words matter.

To Kameron, they do. When asked what keeps him going, he tells us that he knows the world has something better in store for him. When asked how he knows, he comes back to a single thing: His word.

“There are people that helped create this new path for me,” he says. “It would be wrong for me to step off the path they created. I can’t let them down.”

Kameron made promises, and he intends to keep them.

These days, he’s implementing a plan to keep his word. To Kameron, liberation is “not being held back by any obstacle.” He is taking leadership of his own life by completing training programs, like YEAH Philly and PowerCorps, actively participating in our Intergenerational Healing Circles as an alumni member, and working multiple jobs to stand solidly on his own feet. His legacy? “That’s still being written,” he says.

As life comes, Kameron says, “I’m not scared.” There may be challenges, but he is confident that he can make choices grounded in positivity and progress.

We know he will. He told us.

And, Kameron’s word matters.

Before the end of the year, we aim to raise $250,000 to enable YSRP’s continued work to keep youth out of the adult system and to support Juvenile Lifers in their transition back home. If inspired, please consider making a gift in Kameron’s honor.

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