Mariah Carey is being honoured by Variety for her 25 years of helping underprivileged kids through Camp Mariah.
The camp that bears the music icon’s name delivers “career awareness” to children deprived of opportunity.
“Camp Mariah is one of the things that makes me feel best about what I have done in my life and in my career because it has a direct impact on kids who don’t have other options. And yes, it’s for all the kids out there: male, female, whatever. It’s something that I feel has made a direct impact on people’s lives,” Carey told Variety during her “Power of Women” interview.
The 49-year-old singer’s program launched in 1994 by the Fresh Air Fund and is offered to young adults from New York living in low-income communities. Each summer, the camp gives about 250 seventh-to-ninth graders who “never left their own block” the opportunity to participate in classes, such as film, photography, and debate, as well as outdoor activities.
“I will say having been born in the Bronx, we don’t know what we don’t know,” said Fatima Shama, the executive director of the Fresh Air Fund. “Mariah invested in that young people deserve a chance to know what they don’t know. She touched the lives of thousands of kids, showing them they have options. We know the kids who have gone to Camp Mariah have higher graduation rates out of high school and college.”
“It’s reinvigorating when people come up to you and tell you a story like ‘I don’t think I would be the person that I am without coming to this camp.’ That’s a big deal. It’s almost as big a deal as when someone says, ‘I wouldn’t be who I am without your music.’ Having this camp, it’s a physical place I can go and really experience these moments with the kids. There’s nothing like it,” Mariah says about the camp’s impact on her life.
Camp Mariah continues to serve as a “really, really, really rewarding experience” in the pop star’s life. This year Mariah got to take her eight-year-old children, Moroccan Scott and Monroe, to the camp for the first time and says “they had a great time.”
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Happy anniversary "CAMP MARIAH"!!!! I was so honored to celebrate this milestone with @thefreshairfund at the career awareness summer camp that we founded together back in 1994. This cause is so close to my heart, and the opportunity to bring my own kids to meet the campers and amazing staff was the highlight of my summer so far. To make the day even more perfect, we were joined by the incredible @mistyonpointe who showed us all that hard work pays off! Misty's prolific career and unprecedented accomplishments have inspired so many. Getting to finally meet her, and knowing how much she has overcome as a biracial woman to get to where she is, is so inspiring to me. I'm forever a fan. See you next year, everyone! 📷 Joan Barker