First, a picture of Joe Girardi with yesterday’s HOPE Week honoree Jane Lang. It’s a picture from after the game when Girardi took Jane around the field and back to home plate.
HOPE Week continues this morning. A little before 9 a.m., Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia, Marcus Thames, Curtis Granderson and Brian Cashman took Sierra Leone-native, civil war survivor and recent high school graduate Mohamed Kamara on a surprise tour of the New York Stock Exchange. Later this morning, the group will go to City Hall where Mayor Michael Bloomberg will meet with Mohamed and the Yankees.
From the Yankees, here’s Mohamed’s story.
Mohamed was born in 1992 in the midst of civil war in his West African homeland of Sierra Leone. Any semblance of a normal childhood was unavailable to him. As the oldest of three brothers and two sisters with an absent father and a mother suddenly ill, he was forced to become the “man of the house” at age 9, providing for his family by foraging on his own to prevent their starvation.
When the war subsided approximately six years ago, Mohamed, who did not speak English at the time, made the difficult decision to come to the United States to join his aunt and uncle in an impoverished section of the Bronx.
Since arriving in the United States, Mohamed has simultaneously created a life for himself and improved the lives of others. He graduated in the top quarter of his class at Bronx Leadership Academy High School and earned a partial scholarship to Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, where he will work toward a business degree.
Over the last four years, he has remained the breadwinner for his family in Africa despite being a full-time Bronx high school student, working as a caddie at Montammy Golf Club in Alpine, N.J., which requires him to wake up for work at 4:00 a.m. and spend nearly five hours a day in transit in an effort to send every last possible dollar back to Africa.
He also displays selflessness in his treatment of his peers. He became a mentor and sounding board for other African students in his school, and he founded the Sierra Leone Gentlemen, which organizes benefits at his local church to raise money for children in his homeland to attend school. Despite being a student in name, his actions prove he is a teacher in life.
Associated Press photo