900 Men Strong Scholarship & Community Service Awards Breakfast

Making a Difference through Education

2018 Community Service Honorees

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Cameron Bertrand

Benin Allen

Born on February 6, 1991, Cameron Bertrand is a graduate of Christopher Newport University, receiving a degree in Sociology and Criminology and winning three consecutive USA South conference football championship rings. In 2010, he enlisted into the United States Army where he served four years as Paralegal Specialist, where he earned his security clearance and trained to commission as JAG Officer until he was given an opportunity that introduced him to his true passion as a community leader and mentor. This is where the young man began to build his legacy, realizing that he could have a direct impact on the youth perceptions of success.  Cameron is currently an Area Director of the leading movement known to the Youth Development field with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula.  His unyielding passion is structured around impacting underprivileged youth predominantly from low income environments and single parent homes through outcome driven programming and community outreach. This has allowed him to create partnerships that can help service the demographics impacted by the unequal distribution of resources to certain areas.


In the diminutive amount of time that he has been in his profession, Cameron has surpassed the expectations of those within his sphere and beyond.  He has received numerous achievements within his organization and promoted those that he leads into the paths of opportunity.


In November of 2015, Cameron was the victim of a life changing violent crime.  While leaving a university homecoming activity, he and one of his comrades were robbed at gunpoint by a heartless individual. As a result of this impactful tragedy, he suffers from neurological and vascular damage to his leg, but Cameron will not be defeated. Stemming from this event, he fostered an Injury Prevention and Awareness program partnering with the Sentara and Riverside hospital brand, as well as multiple city and state-wide agencies.  In spite of his injury, he seats several boards in the community including partnerships with the Mayor of Newport News working directly with his Honor, city council members and city officials, Department of Human Services, Commonwealth Attorney's office, and many more. All of these mentioned partnerships help support the programs Mr. Bertrand facilitates that are geared towards gang and violence prevention, living productive and healthy lifestyles, developing leadership skills. In 2017, Cameron kicked-off the First Annual Ignite the Youth Talent Show, where a number of local talents began their claim to fame.


Cameron is the best example of a leader. His idea of optimal is “doing what you say you will do”.   He is climbing the ladder to success, allowing nothing to get into his way.  Please feel free to contact him with any ideas about impacting our youth.

Mr. Benin Francis Allen is a Sophomore Honors College Student at Norfolk State University majoring in Sociology. Benin is involved on campus serving as the Sophomore Class Media Executive, Vice President of Christian Student Fellowship, and a Naval ROTC Midshipman.


As a high school student, Benin received numerous awards and recognitions for his academic achievements while helping his team achieve many victories on the football field. He also held several part time jobs and worked in the community. He formed the Locking Arms Meeting Group in 2015 to help unify students and build a foundation towards success. He served in his home church by playing the drums for various choirs, and became involved in ministerial work.

Benin’s love for the community started in high school and continues to this day. Some of his past and present activities include serving organizations such as the Central Union Mission lending a hand to the homeless; Commonwealth Care, providing support to the Physical and Mental Health Facility; House of Wood helping with Toys for Tots; and volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club serving as a mentor to young kids.


While balancing the demands of the classroom and the needs of the community, Benin is a phenomenal example of how young people can excel as a student while making a difference in the world.  Benin is driven by an enormous desire to strive for greatness and helping others. He aspires to work in the field of Sociology. He is currently in training to receive his ministerial license as a Baptist Minister.

2940 Corprew Ave
Norfolk, VA 23504
Tel (757) 627-7222

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Contact Details:
Event Details:
Date: April 14, 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Where: Chessapeake Conf Center
             700 Conference Center Dr
             Chesapeake, VA 23320
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