Remembering Camille Harmon
“Her love, infectious smile, high spirit, humility, and integrity impacted everyone she knew. Never once did Camille doubt our abilities, empowering us to excel and to be the best in all our endeavors and not lose sight of that.”
Our agency is deeply saddened by the news of Camille Harmon’s passing on February 22, 2022. From the time Camille first joined our Early Childhood Services team in 2016 as the ERSEA Manager (eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment, and attendance), she has been an essential member of the Children’s Home & Aid family. Her commitment to empowering Illinois children and families has inspired all of us. We join Camille’s friends and loved ones in grieving her loss and offer our deepest condolences.
A Chicago native, Camille attended Head Start at Tabor Lutheran Church Preschool, Ninos Heroes Elementary School, and Chicago Vocational High School. She also was a member of the South Shore Baptist Church, often working as a camp counselor during the summer months. Camille went on to graduate from Columbia College with her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Education. Throughout her life, Camille was passionate about helping others. She dedicated her energy and talents to the nonprofit sector for 17 years, with a focus on providing support to children, youth, and families living in disinvested communities.
Camille’s bright light touched many people. She was always open to sharing her knowledge and experiences with others. As a registered trainer with the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (INCCRRA), she mentored countless individuals on their own path to partnering with families and strengthening communities. Camille was a board member for the Illinois After School Network, where she was acknowledged with an award for her outstanding service. She also was a member of the Americorps Alumni Association and the National After School Association.
Camille was a fun-loving, spirited person who adored dancing and delighted in candy and sweets of all kinds. She will be remembered for her kindness, humor, and warmth. Family, friendship, and faith were important aspects of her life. She was also known for being a great friend and teammate. Many staff members have reached out to share their fondest memories and celebrate her many contributions over the years. Below are just a few highlights that capture what Camille meant to those who knew her well.
“Camille represents so many things to me,” said Michelle Ellis, Manager of Parent and Family Services. “We connected through both our passions and through our struggles. As we come to terms with her absence from our team, and in our lives, I am reminded of how deeply important it is to tell people how much you love them when they are here! Rest well and know that you were loved, and you will not be forgotten!”
Maria Herdman, a Family Support Supervisor in the Metropolitan Chicago Region, reflected about the times they shared together at the agency.
“I worked with Camille for the previous six years. I will miss her sense of humor, jokes, and outgoing personality! I’m so thankful I was able to spend some time with Camille a few months back in person and we had such a great conversation together, which I will remember forever. She was such an asset to Children’s Home & Aid. She will be truly missed.”
Dawnielle Jeffrey Vice President of Early Childhood Services shared how much Camille meant to her personally. – “She was a friend, confidant, colleague, and advocate. Camille was a transformational leader who played a pivotal role in the community. She was passionate about closing the opportunity gap so that children, youth, and families in disinvested communities have accessibility to high quality education and care. Her love, infectious smile, high spirit, humility, and integrity impacted everyone she knew. Never once did Camille doubt our abilities, empowering us to excel and to be the best in all our endeavors and not lose sight of that. Despite her health challenges, she continued to persevere in her work and personal journey. We will miss Camille’s energy, tenacity, and ability to leap tall hurdles despite her short stature. While her physical presence is gone, the lessons she taught us in life while courageously battling her illness will serve us all well for many years to come. She is our SHERO.”
If you would like to share your own memories of Camille, please comment below. Memorials can also be made in Camille’s honor with a donation to the Illinois After School Network.