Distinguished Alumni

Veda Cloud

veda-cloudVeda Cloud is from the Class of 2005, the first graduating class at Camden Academy Charter High School. She was also a member of the first class of students to enter in Camden’s Promise Charter School in 1998.

In 2009, Veda graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She is a 2016 graduate of University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Social Work degree.  While at Penn, Veda was awarded the Social Work Departmental Scholarship for Academic Excellence for two years in a row and was mentioned as a Field Talent in Social Work by her field supervisors.  She was also an active member of the Association of Black Social Workers.

Much of her experience in social services has been in non-profit, community-based organizations focusing on addressing the effects of poverty in Camden and Burlington counties. She has found her niche in working with adolescents and families. Her foundational training and experience in behavioral support and family counseling has contributed in utilizing her strengths, perspective, and ecological framework in treating clients.

Veda previously worked as an intensive case manager at Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Camden and was recognized as a leading case manager while she was there.  Veda is elated to bring those talents full circle as she returns to Camden’s Charter School Network as a school social worker this school year.

In her personal life, she enjoys her role as a wife and mother of two. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also collaborates a monthly effort to feed displaced individuals and families, as well as choreographs liturgical dance for youth at her church.

Jonathan Wigfall

Jonathan WigfallJonathan Wigfall has earned his Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. While in college, Jonathan served as a writer and social media director of 20 Watts Magazine, the promotions liaison for the Performing Arts department of University Union, and secured online coverage for various up-and-coming musicians on sites such as Chris Brown’s Mechanical Dummy blog, and Boi-1da.net (Platinum Grammy Winning Producer Boi-1da site). He also is the co-creator of two viral videos, one of which is a “Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift) parody, which was recognized by Good Morning America. In his final year at Syracuse, Jonathan created “Struggle Bus,” a single-camera, scripted YouTube series that follows six friends through their respective experiences as they react to relationship drama and the overall endeavors to receive a degree in four years.

Jonathan currently writes for Philadelphia’s Power 99 radio personality, Mina SayWhat’s blog, and serves as the social media manager and head editor for Ethik Clothing, where he formerly served as an event coordinator. He also has an ongoing internship as a social and digital media intern for Universal imprint record label, Noizy Cricket!!, where he has assisted with blog placements for Nas’ Mass Appeal signee Bishop Nehru. Over the last two years, Jonathan has been developing the brand of NJ hip-hop trio, DEF Bananas. Under his management the group has been interviewed by CBS, featured in True Magazine and opened for a variety of major acts, such as SZA, Jadakiss, Mike Zombie, and KYLE. With a strong passion for music, Jonathan hopes to one day make indie acts household names, while creating platforms to innovate the music industry.

Donovan T. Smalls

Donovan T SmallsDefying the harsh reality of Camden’s neighborhood statistics of crime and school dropouts, Donovan Smalls continues to show the world that determination, passion and hard work can produce success no matter what obstacles may present themselves.

Born on September 30, 1991, Donovan T. Smalls has reconstructed the idea of what it means to grow up in Camden.

At the young and vital age of 22, Donovan has achieved more than your average young adult; he attended Camden’s Promise and graduated from Camden Academy Charter School in 2010. Throughout his time at the Academy, he held many leadership positions and taught his own elective class. Donovan wrote, directed and produced his own play “Gossip: The Rumor is Out,” his senior year of high school.

He went on to continue his education and has successfully completed and obtained his Bachelors degree May 2014 from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, double majoring in Theatre Arts and Communication with a specialization in Public Relations. He took advantage of the many opportunities in college holding a position as a Resident Assistant for three years. Donovan studied abroad his junior year with the Semester at Sea program through the University of Virginia. He went to 14 different countries in one semester and created a video of his experience that has gone viral which landed him as a guest on FOX 29 News. He recently finished his Internship with the Wendy Williams Show in New York City and has recalled it as being an amazing opportunity.

Donovan enjoyed a childhood as the second child of four of David and Taleshia Smalls. Growing up Donovan always found a way to entertain himself, family and friends with home videos and shows. Never restricting his creativity, Donovan began writing poetry, telling stories and drawing cartoons for his homemade comic books.

Not one to forget his community, Donovan has always looked for ways to volunteer his time giving back to his community. He dreams of opening his own performing arts studio here in Camden for all the dreamers like him.

Leading by example Donovan Smalls has no desire to stop anytime soon. With an undying passion to create more plays and continue to enhance his acting craft, there is no doubt Donovan will conquer Broadway and the silver screen.

Rodolfo Coplin Jr. 

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Rodolfo Coplin Jr. was born in Camden. Shortly after his birth he moved to the Dominican Republic where he spent the first 8 years of his life. There he was home schooled by a teacher who rapidly advanced him academically. His father a doctor, and mother an entrepreneur in nature, Coplin gained many of the characteristics that we see today—charismatic presence, endless motivation, and perseverance through all obstacles.  When he returned to Camden he entered the fifth grade where he began to learn English. After this he entered the Camden’s Charter Network, coming to Camden’s Promise in the middle of his 6th grade year. He also attended Camden Academy where he graduated third in his class.

Coplin attended Ursinus College where he graduated in May of 2013, with a bachelor’s biology with a concentration in developmental neurobiology. He minored in peace and social justice, and Spanish. While at Ursinus he partook in various research endeavors. His primary research was with a neurobiologist who looked at the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure on the brain. Coplin received the SOMAS grant from the National Institute of Health for his research throughout his time at Ursinus that funded his work and allowed him to present at various conferences across the country. He interned at the Federal Home Loan Bank in Pittsburgh, PA, working on affordable housing projects in the tri-state area.

Globally conscious, Coplin traveled to 12 countries during his undergraduate career. He traveled to such places as Sudan where he interned at the University of Khartoum and the National Youth Foundation, Uganda where he interned with the Grandmothers Beyond Borders Campaign, Eritrea where he worked in the Sudanese Embassy, and the Dominican Republic where he helped to establish a mobile clinic project to provide health care access to the sex worker and homeless populations.

Through the various leadership roles that Rodolfo has taken on such as President of his class at Ursinus for 3 years, President of the chapter of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., President of the Pre-Medical Society, and pursuing civic engagement through the Bonner Scholars Program, he has truly embodied the goals of a liberal arts education.

After Coplin was admitted into the Teach For America program, he returned to Camden Academy Charter High School as to teach biology.  He currently serves as a permanent teacher for Camden Academy.
 

Felisha Reyes-Morton

Reyes-MortonFelisha Reyes-Morton is a 2007 graduate of Camden Academy Charter High School.  In May 2010, only three years after high school graduation, Reyes-Morton completed her undergraduate degree with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in Spanish from Fairleigh Dickinson University where she earned entrance into both The Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society and The National Society of Leadership and Success.

As an undergraduate, Reyes-Morton was driven by her experiences in Camden to try to understand the “whys and hows” of the poverty, crime and decay within the city and realized that she needed to use education to begin the work of combating them.

Reyes-Morton was recently elected to the position of a Camden County Democratic Committee member, and serves as vice president of a long established community non-profit, Concerned Citizens of North Camden (CCNC) where she is charged with assisting in reestablishing capacity within the organizations structure, establishing community partners, identifying and obtaining funding to aid in the planning, coordination and implementation of the organizations long range community objectives.

While working for Puerto Rican Unity for Progress and Rowan Upward Bound’s ESL Program, Reyes-Morton has been involved in the shaping of curriculum, providing classroom instruction and in securing continued educational opportunities for youth upon graduation.

Reyes-Morton also has served several internships including serving as an Assistant to the Camden City Council President, Francisco Moran, and at the Camden County Prosecutors Office.

Over the past several years, Reyes-Morton has been actively involved in the Camden City community as an organizer having partnered with organizations such as the Camden Police Department, Girl Scouts of Central and Southern NJ, Camden City Council and the Mayor’s Office to bring improvements into the community that enhanced residents’ quality of life.

Along with her husband, Reyes-Morton has founded the nonprofit corporation Community Building Corporation in 2007 where they work alongside many community groups on projects ranging from cleanups to back-to-school events where school supplies were given out with the support of the DCCB and Camden County.

Felisha Reyes-Morton has recently been appointed by Mayor Redd to be a member of the Camden Board of Education where she serves as Chair of the Attendance, Staff, Students and Security Committees. She works at The Hispanic Family Center as a Health Prevention Educator, linking families to resources and is currently working on her Master of Public Policy and Administration degree at Rutgers University. She lives in Camden with her husband Bryan and daughter Bella.

Zulmarie Bosques

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Zulmarie Bosques was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and raised in the east side area of Camden City. She entered the Camden Academy family in 2004 and graduated Valedictorian of the Class of 2007. While taking honors classes, including four Advanced Placement courses, Bosques participated in various extracurricular activities including National Honor Society, Prom Committee and served as student body president.

In 2007, Bosques left Camden City for Brunswick, ME to study Spanish Literature and Government Studies at one of America’s most prestigious liberal arts institutions, Bowdoin College. At Bowdoin she has been recognized as a student leader on campus through her contribution to Residential Life and as a Spanish Teaching Assistant. She was given the Henni Friedlander Student Prize which is awarded each year to a Bowdoin undergraduate who has overcome adversity in his or her own life and gone on to contribute significantly to the common good. In 2008, she was given an esteemed summer internship with N.J. Senator Robert Menendez (D) through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute where she translated documents and replied to constituent mail. She has volunteered in various non-profits throughout her undergraduate studies including The Center for FaithJustice where she facilitated conversations about social justice to students of affluent neighborhoods in the Princeton area.

During the fall of her junior year, she studied abroad in Lima, Peru where she volunteered with the nonprofit, La Casa de Panchita, which is focused on educating domestic women workers in Lima. In 2010 the Latin American Studies department awarded her a research grant to return to Lima and pursue a year-long independent study comparing how domestic women workers are represented in Lima versus in Peruvian literature.

Bosques graduated from Bowdoin with a bachelor’s in Spanish literature.  She has participated in a yearlong fellowship with Urban Prep Academy, an all male charter high school in the Southside of Chicago. At Urban Prep, she will be responsible for 25 boys to whom she will serve as a mentor and higher education advocate.

Dante Bronson

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Dante Benson traces his success and deep involvement in the community back to his roots in his hometown, Camden, New Jersey. Born on August 31st, 1988, Benson saw early on that the way to make a positive impact on his city, country and world was through education, hard work, and perseverance. Benson graduated from Camden Academy Charter High School in the top ten percent of his graduating class, Class of 2006, where he was a member of the National Honor Society.

While at Camden Academy, Benson became involved in many extracurricular activities including mentoring at Urban Promise Ministries Inc. and running track for Camden High School’s Track and Field Team. For his commitment and ability to perform at the highest level in and out of the classroom, Dante was awarded the prestigious Questbridge Scholarship to attend Pomona College in Claremont, California; one of America’s most esteemed Liberal Arts Colleges. At Pomona College, Benson continued his extracurricular involvement by joining the Pomona and Pitzer Colleges’ track team, working numerous work-study jobs, being selected as a resident advisor, as well as serving as one of the founding members of Building Leaders on Campus (BLOC), an organization devoted to serving the community of greater Los Angeles through tutoring high school children.

While pursuing lofty goals on the track and the communities of inner city Los Angeles, Benson strove to pursue equally ambitious academic goals by studying Chinese Language and History. During the latter half of 2008, Benson traveled to Beijing, China to study Mandarin Chinese. The intensive study of Mandarin helped Benson to become near-fluent in Chinese.

After studying in China, Benson decided he would devote his life to the study of Chinese. Benson graduated from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies with a concentration in Chinese history. Seeming to mirror his senior year at CACHS, Benson was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship, a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of State to promote cultural exchange between the U.S. and other nations. As such, Benson traveled to Taiwan to teach English to Taiwanese middle school students while simultaneously furthering his studies in Mandarin Chinese. With his family, high school, college and city constantly to thank for his success, Benson’s life journey and future success are dedicated to these people and places.

Jeremy Robinson

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Jeremy Justin Robinson realized early in life that he must work hard to stand out amongst the rest, and that he did. Jeremy graduated in the top ten of his senior class at Camden Academy Charter High School, Class of 2005, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and very involved in sports.

Robinson was extremely focused in the classroom. His determination and drive earned him a notable scholarship to Monmouth University, where he was also asked to join their football program. At Monmouth, Robinson became very active on campus. He became a regular name on Monmouth University’s Dean’s List and was twice selected as the NEC Conference Rookie of the Week which eventually helped his team win the conference championship. Jeremy was also an active member of many organizations on campus, including the Business Club and the African American Student Union. In spring of 2007, looking to serve a bigger and better purpose beyond the Monmouth University Campus, Jeremy became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. This membership came with major responsibilities that Robinson took on with full force and great prestige. He became an active volunteer, working numerous service events in the surrounding community, including an extremely successful voter registration drive that Robinson headed with other members of his fraternity for the recent presidential election.

Robinson graduated from Monmouth University and was one of the first students from his class here at Camden Academy to earn a college degree. He plans on attending graduate school to receive his MBA and eventually hopes to use his entrepreneurial skills to open a business here in Camden.  Robinson hopes to continue to motivate others while staying active within his high school and university communities. His accomplishments thus far are prominent, but they are only the beginning of his journey to success. Keeping God and his family first, Robinson believes that all things are possible and he will continue to shine his light on all whom he meets.