NIAGARA FALLS — A National Football League executive and Miss America 2020 served as special mentors to youths enrolled in day camp at Carolyn's House last week.

Troy Vincent and Camille Schrier met virtually with the campers and talked with them about what it takes to be a champion in life. The campers were children enrolled in the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier's residential program as well as children in the neighborhood. The camp was sponsored by the City of Niagara Falls.

Vincent, an All Pro and NFL executive vice president of football operations, is a a national advocate to end domestic violence. A longtime YWCA supporter, he was the recipient of the Niagara Frontier branch's 2019 Hero Award. Vincent and his family founded the Love Thy Neighbor foundation to foster positive change in young people's lives through athletics, character and academics.

Schrier, the current Miss America, is a biochemist, Doctor of Pharmacy student and STEM advocate. In addition to addressing the campers in a personalized video message, she provided them with multiple videos of her science experiments.

The special appearances at the day camp were arranged by Kathleen Neville, author and founder of Champion Conduct, a character, conduct and leadership curriculum, at the YWCA's request. A customized version of Champion Conduct was added to the camp offerings.

Carolyn's House, established in 2005, offers programs and apartments for homeless women and children.

Of the messages from Vincent and Schrier, YWCA Executive Director Kathleen Granchelli said, “We know that lives change when children have the opportunity to learn how someone else overcame life’s obstacles and found their own pathway to success. It’s empowering. ... I think these campers will remember their words of advice and encouragement for a long time. In fact, I don’t think you ever forget the words of those who inspire you and that is exactly what Troy and Camille gave to these children.”

In a thank you note to Vincent, one camper expressed his thanks this way: “Dear Mr. Vincent, thank for thinking of us. You made us happy. Thank you for being a role model.” Another camper added, “Thank you for giving me the courage to do anything.”

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