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Rising to the top

Caston
Caston started working at We All Rise: African American Resource Center, dedicated to helping people in times of crisis, about four years ago. We All Rise photo

BY MEGHAN CALLAHAN

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

GREEN BAY – Earlier this spring, Charles Caston, Jr., was recognized for his excellence working at We All Rise.

“It feels great to be recognized for putting in hard and dedicated work,” said Caston.

Caston started working at We All Rise: African American Resource Center, dedicated to helping people in times of crisis, about four years ago.

“It’s really incredible work…we focus on creating a vibrant African American community,” he explained.

This is done by offering a wide array of services to those in need.

Mental health help, housing, and employment are resources offered by We All Rise.

“The job is very rewarding, it’s amazing to see people starting at a certain place reach goals they never thought they could,” he added.

Greater Green Bay Chamber Director of Talent Retention Christine Gunderson presented the Young Professional of the Year to Charles Caston, Jr.
Greater Green Bay Chamber Director of Talent Retention Christine Gunderson presented the Young Professional of the Year to Charles Caston, Jr., earlier this year. Submitted photo

“It’s okay to start later in life, it doesn’t matter how old you are once you find a community that accepts you,”

Winning Young Professional of the Year means that all of Caston’s hard work and dedication has paid off.

“Being recognized by funders” is a major benefit to winning the award, in addition to having “that personal honor,” he said.

Caston was one of two Black men to be nominated for the award.

“It feels great to make history,” he said.

Caston wasn’t always on this track though.

In the context of his education, he described himself as “a troubled kid…I was in and out of different school settings. I struggled to find where I fit in.”

Young Leaders Academy — which was founded in 1994 to provide young African-American males with strong role models, academic support and community service activities — changed Caston’s life.

“They groomed me to be a hard-working individual,” he said.

The teacher, he said, that made all the difference was Malik Holt, and he is one of Caston’s biggest role models.

“In different paths of life there are different people motivating you,” Caston explained.

He also credits his mom who “supported him through everything,” along with Robin Scott, Jennifer Bayette, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey.

On Garvey, Caston said, “he had an agenda and a plan for African American people.”

 He currently serves as a crime victim advocate at We All Rise and currently facilitates Fathers, Everywhere, Stand, Together (FEST) at the agency.

Caston has worked to foster solidarity among the African American community and worked with the Green Bay Police Department to help build positive relationships.

For more on We All Rise, visit www.weallriseaarc.org.

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