This past Monday, February 27th, Charlestown High School graduate and one of the Turn it Around youth founders, Edwin (EJ) Slater, was honored with the prestigious "Hero Among Us" award by the Boston Celtics.
EJ was recognized by the Boston Alliance for Community Health in December as one of five recipients of their Healthy Community Leadership Award. The awar
dees were all
Boston residents who are either immigrants, persons of color, or from other underrepresented
groups. They have all taken on leadership roles in their communities and demonstrated a commitment to improving community health and addressing racial and ethnic health inequities in Boston.
EJ was nominated and chosen for both awards due to his unwavering commitment to the health of Charlestown residents.
EJ was instrumental to the development of Turn it Around; helping to create campaign posters that depict commonly misused prescription drugs, and speaking on how to make the outreach materials applicable to people of color and immigrant residents.
EJ has also been central to the expansion of Turn it Around to a larger group focused on developing protective
factors in youth through community service opportunities, skill-development
workshops, extracurricular activities, academic resources, and clinical support.
Through this transition, EJ has been an avid recruiter, leader, and mentor.
Despite being homeless for all of high school, EJ has consistently looked beyond his own difficult circumstances and remained committed to improving the health of Charlestown, while also graduating and entering college on full scholarship.
To celebrate this special occasion, EJ and three friends were taken to the game in a limo where they enjoyed court side seats and a ceremony in which he was honored by the audience of 18,000 people. The Turn it Around kids and staff supported EJ from the bleachers!
To learn more about the Heroes Among Us award, click here.
To read a story about EJ in the Charlestown Patch, click here.