Hope

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Being a son of Massachusetts, it’s not in my DNA to say nice things about the New York Yankees, but the Yankees are doing the right thing this week with “Hope Week.” Each day, the team selects a person who has “persevered” and provides them with “an unforgettable experience.”

Today’s honoree is Mohamed Kamara. Here’s his story from the Yanks:

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.

Today, the Yankees’ C.C. Sabathia, Derek Jeter and team officials Reggie Jackson and Brian Cashman took Kamara to the New York Stock Exchange, where he rang the bell and opened trading. Then they went to City Hall to meet the mayor (photo above).

But it would’ve been nice if the CNBC anchor had actually talked to Kamara during a segment after the event today.

We’re not New York, and I’m not the Yankee organization, but I’m pretty sure you know someone who is “a true hero of society” around here. Tell me about him/her, and I’ll take care of the rest.

  • JackU

    When I heard this on Morning Edition today I found it interesting. During last Saturday’s game the Twins and FSN ran the game “commercial free”. During the breaks they highlighted the work of players, their wives and others in the organization and the Twins Community Fund, for what they did in the community.

    When I heard what the Yankees were doing it sounded like a similar idea but not with the connection of the players or the organization in the actions, just the recognition. So you might want to start with some of the groups the Twins players are involved with, because in many cases they are lend a face, a name and some money to a cause that is truly championed by society’s heroes.