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Campers in the Wild: Tiffany Jeanminette, Cesar Cortorreal, Mercedes Soler & a Dedication to Christine Cooper

by Megan Weissman
 ∙ Sep 23 ∙ 5 Min Read

We dedicate this edition of Campers in the Wild in loving memory of our Poconos camp sister Christine Cooper, who died of ovarian cancer earlier this Fall.

As we celebrate Christine’s joy through some really tough times, we tip our hats to some of our other Campowerment peeps for some major accomplishments: from becoming a professor (whattt?!), to receiving a Fulbright Scholarship, to landing on the cover of People en Español…

Let’s jump in with snaps as:

Tiffany Jeanminette Becomes an Adjunct Professor 🎓 🎓 🎓

In November of 2021, Tiffany Jeanminette came to camp via a good friend in her field (Public Health). When we met her — and after the 24-Hour Rule (No saying what you do for a living for the first 24 hours of camp…) expired — we learned that she inhabited the professional role of Policy & Equity Director for the Louisiana Public Health Institute and was an Organizational Development Consultant for the CDC Office on Smoking and Health. (Cool!)

Last Fall, we — and most importantly — SHE had no clue Tiffany was about to change her whole life, change jobs, create her own consulting practice and become a college professor! We’ve gotten to follow her journey all year as we learn & grow with her on, then back at camp this Fall, but, there’s always s’more to learn – and Tiff’s teaching it, in her Healthcare Management class at the University of New Orleans’ College of Business.

To our surprise, this wasn’t always in the cards. She’s looking forward to bringing some new ways of learning and growth (shoutout Campowerment) into her classroom. Way to go, Tiff!

. . . . . . .

Cesar Cortorreal and his US-UK Fulbright Education Award 🍎 🍎 🍎

We had the sincere privilege of meeting Cesar long before he earned his M.S.Ed. or earned the awards we’re celebrating today. In fact, we met Cesar when he was a freshman…now he’s a first-generation college graduate of Franklin & Marshall (Class of 2020) and a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

How’d we link? Well, Cesar’s a camper with our beloved client Herb It Forward Foundation (check them out – their work is incredible). Their mission is to support the education of young leaders in Philadelphia through their scholarships & community building initiatives.

Each June for the last six years, we produce a leadership camp in partnership with Herb It Forward (“HIFF”), and it’s become an annual experience that allows us – and each of the 100 campers – to witness how far the members of the HIFF community has come since the summer prior. To say it’s remarkable is almost lame; it’s mind-blowing…the most inspiring and enlivening and empowering.

As an undergrad, Cesar worked two jobs and an internship (on top of his extracurriculars) to live up every moment in college, while still making ends meet. As a full-time Penn grad student, Cesar also worked full time as a high school teacher.  

He’s now the recipient of a US-UK Fulbright Education award in Social Justice and Education award! Cesar will be attending is the University of College London (UCL) Institute of Education (#1 in Education!!). His main goal? To soak it all in while living his purpose: to IMPROVE EDUCATION!!

We can’t wait to see what London teaches Cesar and more importantly, what Cesar will share in the years ahead as a role model to the next gen (and to be honest, the gens older, too!). You can keep up with his travels on his blog Ces-ing The Moment

. . . . . . .

Mercedes Soler on the Cover of People en Español 📰 📰 📰

Mercedes Soler is a multiple Emmy Award-winning journalist, who just happens to be one of our esteemed CP experts! But, like all of us, she is many things, right?! We’ve celebrated Mercedes here before, but this one calls for a whole new shout out, as she’s landed on the cover of People en Español’s Summer Issue!

For 18 years, Mercedes was a reporter, correspondent and investigative journalist at Univisión, the largest Spanish language TV network in the US. She’s reported from all corners of Latin America, anchored and moderated in-depth network programs, and now, alongside her husband, runs their own group of Spanish radio stations in southwest Florida. 

In this issue of People en Español, Mercy bravely talks about her journey with shingles and her attempts and finding the right treatment. She says “Thanks to shingles I’ve learned life is a journey, not a marathon.”

. . . . . . .

What are you creating?! What are you proud of?

Your milestones are our milestones, so if you’re doing something big, something that’s pushing you to live in line with your passion, TELL US WHAT YOU’RE UP TO >> HERE!

Thanks for being here.

From the campfire & beyond,
the Campowerment Crew

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Way-Fun Fact #28
Campowerment campers range in age from 21 to 80+. Intergenerational friendships made at Campowerment continue + grow, long after the bugle blows.