As an organization dedicated to providing hope, there’s definitely a baseline of “required niceness” for anyone hired at Cancer Hope Network. Leslie Colon, our new Programs Coordinator, is meeting and beating that standard. The New Jersey native brings a dedication to helping others and a range of social work experience.

A coffee connoisseur, Leslie will travel multiple hours to support small businesses by trying a new coffeeshop. She is a nature lover and will find any excuse to get outside, even if that means going on a challenging but picturesque hike. Some of her favorite things include vinyasa yoga and her dog, Sammy. 

Leslie is the bi-lingual daughter of two immigrant parents. With relatives still living in Guatemala, Leslie has had the special experience of being able travel there over the summer to see family.

Leslie’s trips to Guatemala, as well as witnessing her mother’s work at a local nursing home, are what inspired her to pursue a career in Social Work. Witnessing the plight of others and feeling compelled to help, Leslie started making a difference by volunteering in high school. She helped run activities for the residents at the nursing home her mother worked at and assisted at local food pantries. Although she was influenced to help during her trips abroad and originally thought she would like to do international social work and maybe even join the Peace Corps, Leslie realized there was still work to be done at home.

Leslie received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers (bringing our staff-wide percentage of Rutgers alums to 50%. Go RU!)

Through her training and education Leslie was able to dedicate time and witness many different fields. She worked at a homeless shelter, with mobile response and stabilization services, and at Legal Services. She was able to share her compassion with women, families, and immigrants. After her Aunt was diagnosed with cancer, Leslie began looking for ways she could use her expertise in the healthcare field. Understanding that the fear and anxiety that cancer patients experience can be alleviated by talking with someone that has been there drew her to CHN, and we are so grateful for it.

Leslie has a kind soul that is evident in all the things she does.

We are so excited to have Leslie on staff and are grateful to add this kind-hearted and compassionate professional to the CHN team.

By Suzanne Leger, Marketing Manager