Talk show host Queen Latifah surprised the Camden Sophisticated Sisters drill team with $10,000 donation on her show this week.
The drill team had lost their dance space but got a big boost when Latifah surprised the team with a donation.
The drill team was founded in 1986 by Tawanda Jones who wanted to instill self-esteem in Camden’s neighborhood. Jones started first with a drill team, then added the boys drum corp. After Latifah presented the drill team with the donation, Jones said “Watching them perform gives me the motivation to keep doing what I’m doing everyday.”
In April, Jones was a recipient of the Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference. Jones was honored for her outstanding work in the community. Along with her husband Robert, Tawanda Jones helped thousands of youth reach academic achievement while providing an outlet for talent.
Since the dance, drum and drill team was founded, all 4,000 youth who participated in the program have graduated high school. Quite remarkable for a city with a graduation rate of less than 50 percent.
In 2013, CNN honored Jones with its Hero of the Year Award. So what do you call someone who comes to rescue of thousands of youth with few opportunities and limited resources? A hero? A noble citizen? Jones is simply an ordinary person who wanted to give children a chance in life.
What kind of person do you want to become?