Corey Ingram Circle and Champions Walk Ribbon Cutting

Discover how students from Nubian Directions II, Inc contributed to the creation of Corey Ingram Circle and Champions Walk, honoring local heroes in Poughkeepsie.

March 11, 2024 12:00 PM

In the bustling city of Poughkeepsie, a new landmark has emerged, not just as a physical structure, but as a beacon of community spirit and dedication. The Corey Ingram Circle, positioned at the bustling intersection of Smith Street, Creek Road, and Salt Point Turnpike, was inaugurated in 2018 to honor a local hero who made the ultimate sacrifice. Corey Ingram, a Poughkeepsie native, tragically lost his life while serving aboard the USS John McCain. This memorial, along with the adjacent Champions Walk, stands as a solemn tribute to Ingram and other notable Poughkeepsie residents who have significantly impacted the community. But behind the scenes of this poignant dedication is a story of youthful ambition, collaboration, and hard work, embodied by the students of Nubian Directions II, Inc.

Building More Than Just Monuments

The students of Nubian Directions II, Inc, took on the monumental task of helping to construct the Corey Ingram Circle and the first five markers along Champions Walk. This project was not just about laying bricks or pouring concrete; it was about laying the foundation for a legacy of community service, respect, and remembrance. Mario Johnson from the Poughkeepsie Alliance shed light on the years of planning and effort that went into making this project a reality, emphasizing the dual tribute to Ingram's sacrifice and the contributions of five other community champions.

Petty Officer Ingram's parents, Jacqueline and Jerry, were honored with a monument that symbolized the community's collective respect and gratitude for their son's service. Meanwhile, the Champions Walk markers tell the stories of individuals who have left indelible marks on the city's youth and broader community, shaping its future in profound ways.

The Influence of Champions

Mayor Yvonne Flowers, reflecting on the significance of the Corey Ingram Circle and Champions Walk, remarked on how these honorees had personally impacted her life. From Penny Lewis, who broke barriers for women of color in government, to Lorraine Roberts, the teacher who inspired Mayor Flowers to pursue a career in bookkeeping, each story woven into the walkway reflects the power of mentorship, leadership, and community engagement. The late Tree Arrington, founder of REAL Skills Network, Barbara Jeter-Jackson, a longstanding elected official, and Wesley Lee, founder of Saving At Risk Youth for Corporate America (SARCA), complete the roster of honorees, each contributing uniquely to the fabric of Poughkeepsie.

The dedication ceremony brought together not just the city's officials and the Ingram family but also showcased the broad community support for the project. Senator Rob Rolison's recollections of the day Corey Ingram died highlighted the unity and collective mourning that spurred the creation of this memorial. Dutchess County Executive Sue Serino and members of VFW Post 170 also underscored the significance of the tribute, with the 8-foot-tall monuments and the iron sculpture at the roundabout serving as a dignified welcome to the city.

A Lasting Legacy

What stands out about the Corey Ingram Circle and Champions Walk project is not just the honor it bestows upon its namesakes but the enduring legacy of community involvement and youth empowerment. The students from Nubian Directions II, Inc, by contributing their labor and spirit to this cause, have not only paid tribute to their local heroes but also cemented their own place in the ongoing story of Poughkeepsie's growth and community cohesion.

This initiative exemplifies how meaningful projects can bridge generations, honor the past, and inspire the future. The Corey Ingram Circle and Champions Walk serve as enduring reminders of the sacrifices made by individuals for the greater good and the powerful impact of collective community action. Through their participation, the students of Nubian Directions II, Inc have learned valuable lessons in civic engagement, teamwork, and the importance of remembering and honoring those who have paved the way for future generations.

In a time when communities across the nation are seeking ways to come together and support one another, the story of Corey Ingram Circle and Champions Walk stands as a beacon of hope and unity. It's a testament to the power of remembering our heroes, celebrating our community champions, and the incredible impact of giving back to the community. Poughkeepsie's youth, through their involvement in this project, have not only contributed to their city's landscape but have also woven themselves into the very fabric of its history. As we walk through Corey Ingram Circle or stroll along Champions Walk, let's remember the hands that built them and the spirits they honor, reminding us of the strength found in unity and the enduring legacy of service.

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