Lenox Trams is no stranger to adversity. Growing up on the island of Montserrat in the British West Indies, Lenox lost his mother at the age of two. His father, known on the island as “Sammy the Hustler, was not active in his son’s life and had 13 other children with two other women. Lenox was taken in initially by his grandmother but ended up in foster care just a few years later when she also passed away. “At her funeral, I remember overhearing my extended family discussing who might take me,” Lenox said. “No one wanted me.”
Thinking that being on his own would be an improvement over the abuse he suffered in foster care, Lenox ventured out on his own. He relied on the kindness of tourists and food scraps thrown out at nearby nightclubs for survival. Lenox was eventually adopted at age 9 by Pat Trams from Chestertown. Even still, Lenox struggled to adjust to the changes that come with having rules for the first time.
Over the years he was given guidance and support by more than a few individuals in his community. Matt Zuech, a student at Washington College at the time, took an interest in mentoring Lenox. Matt first met Lenox after a couple of frat brothers were tossing him out of the Coffee House on campus. “I don’t know what he did,” said Matt “but I recall one of guys saying this kid needed someone and that I should work with him.”
A few months later the two would meet again at the college library. Matt, trying to study for finals, Lenox, trying to pass the time and amuse himself while waiting for Pat (Alumni Director at the college) to finish up work. “I was in a secluded room that few people knew about,” recalls Matt, when I heard someone knocking on the door. I got up to open the door but no one was there.” This game continued on for quite some time when much to Lenox’s surprise, Matt opened the door right as he was about to knock again. Matt invited Lenox in and began to help him with his school work.
Matt and Lenox developed a fast friendship and continued to meet often after that. “Matt was proud to introduce me to his friends, exposed me to a variety of opportunities and encouraged me,” said Lenox. I think what he gave me was a vision of what might be possible.”
Tom Herr, owner of Anthony’s Flowers and Landscaping, heard the desperation in Pat’s voice and suggested he hire Lenox. Pat needed an army to keep her son out of trouble and hoped the job would provide him with some sense of responsibility. “Tom was probably the second person I had encountered that made me feel like I was valued,” recalls Lenox. “I was surprised he was willing to take a chance on me since he certainly knew I had been in trouble.”
Lenox initially worked in the greenhouse and then went with Tom to work landscaping jobs in the area. “There was never a dull moment at Anthony’s when Tom Herr was around. Anyone who knows Tom understands what I am talking about,” said Lenox. “He is an extremely hard worker but also knows how to have fun and has a great sense of humor. I would often ask him how he got his long mustache to curl up on the ends like he did and he would always say ‘cow manure.’
Lenox, now a 10 year veteran with the Easton Police Department is a mentor for a young boy named Corey. Police Chief Ben Blue commented that Lenox “is willing to perform any duty. He has served as a patrol officer, bike officer, and drug investigator and continues to serve on our Emergency Services Unit (SWAT). Lenox always has a smile and is willing to help others and his work with Talbot Mentors is a sterling example of this. I am proud to have witnessed his transformation and to see what he has become.”
Although Lenox’s work schedule can make it challenging to get together for weekly visits with Corey, he understands the importance of giving back and keeping his commitment. “I know first hand the value of having a mentor. It is a privilege to give that opportunity back to someone else.”
Mentoring matches are made possible through the generous support from the United Fund of Talbot County as well as many other community supporters. To make a donation or inquire about mentoring call Talbot Mentors at (410)770-5999