Hometown Heroes 2017: Diedré Charles

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Diedré Charles

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.J. – “Mr. D” Willis grew up in Atlanta. At 15, he was a volunteer in food service at a retirement home. When his family moved to Tallahassee, Florida, he volunteered in recreation at a similar center.

When he moved to Vineland in 2009, he took a volunteer job with the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA, running the “Be Fit” program for ages 5 to 10. Then it was summer camp, after-school tutoring, and an anti-bullying program – in a combination of paid and volunteer work. He took training courses to learn how to better work with children.

Eventually, he was hired as a U.S. Postal Service employee, partly because of his many years of volunteering and, with this steady income, can now give even more time to the Y.

His nominator pointed out that, “Volunteering and hard work led to Charles’ success—he is a role model for people his age.”  Diedré Charles “Mr. D” Willis grew up in Atlanta. At 15, he was a volunteer in food service at a retirement home. When his family moved to Tallahassee, Florida, he volunteered in recreation at a similar center.

When he moved to Vineland in 2009, he took a volunteer job with the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA, running the “Be Fit” program for ages 5 to 10. Then it was summer camp, after-school tutoring, and an anti-bullying program – in a combination of paid and volunteer work. He took training courses to learn how to better work with children.

Eventually, he was hired as a U.S. Postal Service employee, partly because of his many years of volunteering and, with this steady income, can now give even more time to the Y.

His nominator pointed out that, “Volunteering and hard work led to Charles’ success—he is a role model for people his age.”  

Hometown Heroes 2017

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