Fort Greene

“Coach Mel” Damel Carnegie

In partnership with the Trellis youth program, young people from the Farragut, Ingersoll and Whitman NYCHA developments were asked to nominate men and women making a difference in their community.  

Mohamed Mbeye [pictured], a junior student at Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies nominated Coach Mel – Damel Carnegie from the Ingersoll Community Center. 

“There are many leaders in my community but there is only one I can truly acknowledge and that is Coach Damel Carnegie. Not only is he a leader in our community and a mentor to me, but he is also a leader to everyone who comes across his path. He understands the community (Fort Greene) and most importantly, understands people. He is one of those few people who are there in crucial stages of our lives and who really believes in us. Coach Mel shares his knowledge, helps strategize solutions to problems, and listens to us when we need him. One of the things needed to help people succeed in the black community and in today’s society in general is social support and the most social person I know is Coach Mel. He is not only a hero me but a hero to our community..”

With more than 15 years as a coach and mentor, Coach Mel’s heart is to help students stay hungry, be humble, and help them connect to new opportunities. 

Portrait by

Lainey Liriano

Lainey Liriano is a sophomore at Brooklyn Lab charter school who’s been doing photography for more than 4 years and has already won many awards for her photography and writing work She has been living in Fort Greene since she was five.

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