The story you are about to read is a young man who grew up in Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA) that took advantage of the opportunities given to him from his mentors. We hear so often regarding the negativities that surround our young men who resides in housing. Successful stories are rarely written about those who have the persuasiveness or eagerness to succeed regardless of their environment.
Corey Cage’s success story started when he graduated from Henninger High School and received a football scholarship to attend Hobart & Smith College of Geneva.
Prior to attending Hobart College as a freshman, he was employed by SHA as an intern to work with SHA Prep School at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. His responsibility was to develop a curriculum to service SHA students in third, fourth and fifth grades to further enhance their educational abilities throughout the summer of 2002. This technique would help the SHA kids to obtain what they learned in school and advance their learning skills for the upcoming school year.
Those skills were later put to work when Corey attended college in Geneva. As an athlete at Hobart, he was selected to read books to a second grade class and also to speak to another class about sports, nutrition and the importance of staying in school.
By the summer of 2006 SHA/Tenant Assistance Program (TAP) nominated Corey to receive the Knowledge Insight Teamwork Empowerment (KITE) award sponsored by Contact Community Services. This was the first time the organization presented such an award in 2006.
Corey was selected as one of the six recipients who received a $500 scholarship and plaque.
On May 23, 2008, Corey graduated from Hobart & Smith College with a degree in computer science. Then on May 28, 2010, he was sworn in as a member of the Syracuse Fire Fighter’s Department.
We look at housing projects around the country as a place of poverty. Instead, housing is a stepping stone to help families get a new start to a better life in society.
There are other great kids who live in housing that need the same guidance through encouraging mentorship if we only take the time to follow their path to success. We called those young people “TAP-Achievers.” They are students who have the willpower to succeed no matter what it takes to accomplish their goals.
— Story and videos contributed by Kenneth Boyd