Agent of Change Spotlight: Camille Bent

Born and raised in the Bronx, Camille Bent’s journey to her involvement with DFOY and subsequent board service took her around the country, but it also involved a homecoming of sorts. After leaving the Bronx to pursue her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Camille continued her education in Atlanta, receiving a JD/MBA degree from Emory University. Following her clerkship for a bankruptcy judge in the Midwest, Camille returned to New York to continue her legal career.

Now a Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring attorney at BakerHostetler LLP, Camille always recognized that her education opened many doors for her, so she hoped to share her knowledge and experience with Bronx youth. Camille made the most of her education because her teachers made sure that she had a rigorous and challenging curriculum. When Camille was first introduced to DFOY through a law school classmate, it was a natural fit. Camille knew firsthand the value of quality after-school programming and was immediately drawn to working with DFOY and its creative, entrepreneurial staff.

She shared: “Working with DFOY was exactly what I was looking for — the opportunity to make a sustained, meaningful impact. DFOY, at its core, is about youth from the Bronx. I had learned a lot in elementary school and middle school, but I also know that to be truly successful in today’s increasingly competitive environment, education cannot stop at 3:00.”

While reflecting on her time with DFOY, Camille’s favorite memory is close to home. Camille is a graduate of M.S. 181 in Co-op City, where DFOY currently runs after-school programming and summer camp for students.

In 2018, Camille and her sister returned to M.S. 181 to talk with the then-current program participants. “Over the years, M.S. 181 has produced a lot of successful people with great stories, and it’s important that the current students know that! We had a good time chatting and laughing – the kids asked questions that showed intellectual curiosity and that they are already thinking about the right things. I could tell the program has a lot of motivated future leaders!”Camille is equally excited about the future of the DFOY community. Camille shared: “Sure, DFOY is a 30-year-old organization, but we are doing things now that we have never done before!” With solid leadership and program staff in place, she sees opportunities for growth and for stronger partnerships with DFOY’s funders and the communities it serves.

In addition to her work with DFOY and BakerHostetler, Camille volunteers with Credit Abuse Resistance Education through the American Bankruptcy Institute, and from time to time, leads seminars on how to avoid debt at North Central Bronx Hospital. In her spare time, Camille is spending the first part of 2020 (re)learning how to snowboard!

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