Message from Sarah Cherry-Cadogan, President & Founder
On November 11, 2010, our lives were shattered by the murder of my baby and only son, Spencer Nkosi Cadogan. Spencer was a beautiful baby with a smile that could light up the world. At the age of three, Spencer taught himself how to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels. He was already playing football, basketball, soccer and inquiring as to when we were going to enroll him in golf and hockey classes. During his elementary years, Spencer received numerous awards and certificates for his outstanding performance as a student in the areas of academics and citizenship. He was particularly proud of his certificate for the “25 Book Campaign”.
Spencer was a junior usher, choir member, sabbath school member, and a scout with the Metropolitan Eager Beavers Club, Metropolitan Eagles Adventurer Club and Metropolitan Hawks Pathfinder Club. As a middle school student, the Little Lion continued to excel in academics and athletics. He played for the Plainfield Pop Warner Vikings Football Team. He was later recruited by the NJ Cardinals AAU Basketball Association. This was the year the Cardinals won its championship, a most memorable moment for Spencer. My Little Lion was now a champion. While in high school, my Sunny Bunny continued his pursuit in academics and football. He opted to take a sabbatical from basketball.
Little Lion had many hobbies: reading, playing checkers and chess, listening to all types of music, four wheeling, swimming, traveling and playing video games to name a few. He was greatly loved by his family, friends and the community. Recently, it was shared with a community member of how sad and awkard it is for me to see my son’s face on t-shirts in memory of him around town. He responded by simply saying, “Mommy, we can’t help it, we love him too, Spencer belonged to this community and we too share your loss.” Indeed it is a great loss for the community and an even greater loss for our family.
Spencer's dreams were to join the Marines upon graduating from high school. After serving in the miltary, he endeavored to pursue a college degree in Engineering. Spencer will always be a child, never a man, murdered at 17 years and two months of age. He will never attend his high school prom, graduate from high school, serve his country in the military, get married, give me a grandchild, receive a degree in Engineering, attend his nephew’s football games, his niece's cheerleading competitions, and celebrate his sisters' college graduations, weddings, and career achievements.
From this tradegy, Young Men of Resilience was born. In an ever-changing, global, competitive world, we as community stakeholders must invest in the future of our young men. We live in a time where the pace of everyday living is so fast we tend to overlook the most important element in our village, the careful nurturing of our children. We as an organization remain committed to empowering young men so they can become contributing members to society. We must use our communal efforts with the endeavor to expose, educate and facilitate mentorship programs that inspire young males toward greatness. Thus, ensuring that our young men will have an opportunity to reach their full potential in achieving their life aspirations. Our organization seeks partnerships with innovative programs that best transcend young men into champions.