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Hometown Heroes

Rachelle Lewis, Sarah Campbell and Renee Williams

Co-founders, Elmont Strong Inc.

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Luckily, we were not affected professionally by the pandemic. Rachelle and Renee were fortunate to be able to work from home since March, and Sarah worked in person throughout the entire pandemic, while her children learned remotely from home. All things considered, the pandemic forced us to sit still and watch our houses become offices, schools and safe havens. This moment of mindfulness allowed us to truly “see” our community without the noise.

We watched as Elmont was one of Nassau County’s hardest-hit communities by coronavirus. The news disclosed how the coronavirus disproportionately affected African-Americans and Latinos. Elmont’s population is mostly African-American and Latinx. And then the murder of George Floyd unfortunately happened. 

We realized that we need to take care of our own. We need to take care of Elmont because Elmont deserves better. This sparked Elmont Strong Inc., with our mission statement:

“We imagine a better and more beautiful Elmont. We will enact on those ideas to make change happen through beautification, public relations efforts and opportunities for continuous community involvement, and building partnerships and active participation with local institutions and businesses. Most importantly, we want to empower the community and youth to foster civic leadership in order to make Elmont a community with pride.”