Detroit Teen Has Story of Triumph
18-year old Nakiya Brown graduated from Detroitâs Covenant House Academy this past June with several other students who overcame difficult personal challenges and achieved their high school diplomas.
Prior to becoming a student at Covenant House, Nakiya had been an honor student in the Waterford, MI school district. Misfortune arose however, when Nakiya began experiencing personal family issues that left her feeling emotionally perplexed and overwhelmed. Due to the conflict, Nakiya left home at age 16 and moved in with a relative.
She felt that changing environments might help solve the tough problems she had been dealing with, but instead, things only got worse. In her newfound environment, which offered more freedom and a little too much independence, Nakiya said that she no longer focused on academics, and began making many wrong choices. That was when her life took a turn for the worse.
Headed down the destructive path of so many conflicted teens, she fell into the lure of partying, sex, and substance abuse, even experimenting with the synthetic marijuana, K2 Spice. Her choices drove a wedge into her relationship with her mother. âMy mom and I didnât talk for long periods of time,â she said. âWhenever we did talk, we were always going back and forth. My mom was hurt, and so was my grandmother. My little sisters still looked up to me, but they were also disappointed when they heard about what I was doing.â Nakiya stated that while living on the edge seemed fun, the negative impact it was having on her loved ones motivated her to make a positive change.
She says that connecting with the right group of people also helped. âI met some people from my new school who were positive. They introduced me to a new church that helped me turn my life around,â says Nakiya.
With a new frame of mind, one of her top priorities was to refocus on her academics and graduate from school on time. That was when she moved back home and found Covenant House Academy. Nakiya and her mother had considered her potential enrollment in other schools, but after learning that she would not graduate on time through a traditional high school, they decided on the Covenant House online education program for high school students,.
After entering the program, Nakiya excelled once again, working at such an accelerated pace that she completed high school ahead of schedule. âNakiya has made a 360 degree changeâ, says her mother, Tequila Brown, âShe is the type of teenager who quickly learns from her mistakes. It amazes me because when I was her age I used to make the same mistakes over and over.â Brown says that her daughter is more focused than she has ever been.
Nakiya has already landed a summer job in Sandusky, Ohio, which she began a week after graduation. She has also been accepted to Eastern Michigan University, where she will be attending this fall to study early childhood education. Her words of advice to other teens who might be headed in the wrong direction, âTry hanging around mentors, and people who have positive attitudes, instead of just your peers, because peers have problems too.â
To inquire about how to book Nakiya Brown for youth speaking engagements email firstname.lastname@example.org