October 26, 2012
Promise Ambassador and founder of Men & Women of Central Jerome Baker was recently honored as a Most Treasured Volunteer by The Center for Community Solutions. Promise Ambassador Lillie Hunter received a commendation from the center. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland nominated the two for their outstanding and unselfish work in Cleveland's Central Neighborhood.
Jerome became acutely aware of the lack of adult role models for the youth in his neighborhood a few years ago, so he founded Men of Central, which helps African American men in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood to mentor children ages 8 to 14. Based on its success, he helped create Women of Central last year to help the community’s young girls. He also became a “Promise Ambassador” for the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood initiative to provide strong systems of family and community supports that help children through their school years.
For his volunteer work in Cleveland’s health and social services community, the Center for Community Solutions named Jerome one of five Most Treasured Volunteers in Northeast Ohio, presenting him with an award at a ceremony October 19. (Jerome is on the far right in the photo.) In the program for the award ceremony, the Center for Community Solutions noted, “Jerome is a humble Man of Central…and a most worthy Most Treasured Volunteer.”
Anne Pombier, vice chair of the center’s board of directors, presented the awards. She said, “As we considered nominations for this year’s award, we were so impressed by the many volunteer activities taking place in our community. Daily we hear about our region’s problems; today we honor and thank people who are creating solutions by giving of their time, talent, and treasure—by giving of themselves.”
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, which is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, is the lead partner among many collaborators in the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood initiative.