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Meet Corey Laramore, Coordinator of Student Health and Safety for PRS

In honor of Love Our Children’s Day which was celebrated on the first Saturday in April, we thought it would be nice to meet someone whose life work exemplifies this in so many ways.

 

Corey Laramore serves as the Coordinator of Student Health and Safety for the Princeton Regional School District. This is a newly developed position under the leadership of Dr. Carol Kelley.

 

It was my great pleasure to speak with him regarding his life journey and words of wisdom. It was also a pleasure because I have personally known Corey for over twenty years. Not only did he once serve as a member of my staff in the School Based Youth Service Program in Willingboro, but he also is my next-door neighbor!

 

I’ve watched him grow into significant roles that promote the investment of our youth and our community. He is an educator, a minister of the gospel, an author and a well-respected member of the community. These are a few of the words he willingly shared:

 

Tell us a little about yourself, where you were born and raised:

I was born and raised in the City of Trenton in 78’, during a time when drugs and violence was at the peak of the 80’s-90’s. My mother was a social worker who had a dual role of assisting in the schools with students under the Head Start Umbrella. My Father worked at Trenton State Prison as a Correction Officer. I am the middle son of three boys. I learned early how life could move and change quicker than my age would allow. The drug infiltration reached my father, and the damage caused my parents to divorce when I was 10. This led to my mother working 2 jobs taking care of 3 boys. I became rebellious in every way. This led my mother to desperately introduce me to male role models who placed me into Boys Scouts, Trenton Gospel Choir, Basketball Camps, Wrestling and Basketball AAU Teams. Meeting other young boys who lived in similar home situations throughout the city, helped me never forget that these children exist and should never be forgotten.

 

Who were some of your role models? Who influenced your life?

The role models that I relied upon for inspiration were not always family. However, I do remember waking up in the morning, coming downstairs (of our 3-bedroom unit apartment) only to see other families in the community sleeping on the couch/floor due to eviction.  My mother would provide “off the clock” social services daily, with the provision of counseling, food, you name it, to the community. This would frustrate me, but it helped build in me compassion and understanding toward others. This later would make sense in my decision to embrace youth development as a career. My grandfather would come by on the weekends to give his wisdom and love since my father was not living with us but was allowed to come visit. To name drop in the category of my personal mentoring:

  • My oldest brother Jamal, who taught street smarts and survival
  • Ted Plunket/Mr. Stroman/Mr. Brown/Pastor Naylor/Gary Taylor who were all teachers in mental, spiritual, and physical development.

 

How has the impact of your own life experiences influenced the work you do with youth? 

I didn’t put the pieces together in certain areas of my life. At the age of 16, my then 15-year-old girlfriend became pregnant with my son. Being a teen father in High School placed a pause in my mind on anything I desired or dreamed I would become. The only thing that I concluded was I did not want my child to experience what I experienced with my father. I pressed through with my son as motivation to finish High School strong and was able to go to work half of the school day due to the credit completion program as a senior. However, little did I know this would jump start my servitude towards youth and young adults in need of youth development. In college, my work study option involved helping students with reading fundamentals and presentations. Outside of school I was the first black male assistant teacher at Lakeview Child Care Center. I worked twice as hard, being that I was 19 and a newlywed husband. This produced an entirely different perspective about the impact of youth development.

 

 

What are some of your initial observations about the youth you serve here in Princeton?

In the Princeton Community some of the challenges I see are many of the same challenges I have seen in today’s youth in general throughout the state of NJ and beyond. The Umbrella Effect of what parents go through that reaches the children, and how it impacts youth deciding which road to take in their own life is paramount. I see youth who have outbursts of negative behaviors due to the absence of love and unmet needs from the ones they desire to receive it from. This leads to depression, self-harm, (verbal, emotional and physical) and negative behaviors/actions towards others. (Fighting, cyber-bullying, etc.)

 

What advice would you offer for the African American Princeton Community regarding our youth?

My advice for the African American Community about loving our children in today’s time, is to be what you believe your child or our youth need, first. Let it begin with you in whatever capability of power you possess or are connected to. We see and identify youth in distress in multiple areas that we sometimes have overcome ourselves but remain silent or shift the task to others. My attention is towards the word “community” and how it should go beyond where one resides but a sense of compassion towards assisting the unmet need of our youth. Love is the answer, by any means necessary. Never give up and seek support towards building our youth development.

 

Submitted by,

Rev. Gregory S. Smith

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CONGRATULATIONS TO PRINCETON'S OWN KELLY CURTIS

 

Congratulations and heartfelt support are sent to Kelly Curtis who, as a member of the U.S. Women’s Skeleton Racing Team, will represent the United States at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China. There are several pictures of her on the skeleton sled, just google her name – Kelly Curtis Princeton, or Kelly Curtis bobsled.

Kelly, daughter of Mr. John and Mrs. Deborah Curtis and youngest of four, was born, raised, and educated in Princeton, New Jersey. Kelly was a noted athlete throughout her Princeton High and The Lawrenceville School years and as a student at Springfield College.

Honoree: Leighton Newlin

Date: January 5, 2022

Elected: Princeton Councilmember

 

Honoree: Rev. Gregory Smith

Award: Ordination and Installation as Pastor

Date: November 20, 2021

Awarded By: Second Calvary Baptist Church, Hopewell, NJ

 

Honoree: Shirley Satterfield

Award: Community Engagement Award

Date: November 17, 2021

Awarded By: Princeton University and Pace Center for Civic Engagement

 

Honoree: Shirley Satterfield

Award: Liz Erickson Impact Award

Date: October 28, 2021

Awarded By: NonProfit Connection

Honoree: Bob Hillier, FAIA

Award: Reginald F. Lewis Community Service Award for Excellence in Business

Date: February 12, 2021

Awarded By: First Baptist Church of Princeton

 

Honoree: Shirley A. Satterfield

Award: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award

Date: January 16, 2021

Awarded By: New Jersey Education Association (NJEA)

 

Honoree: Rev. David McAlpin

Award: Recognition Celebration

Date: January 30, 2021

Awarded By: Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church

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