But then the next year, we got slightly behind on our rent---not much at all---and were evicted again. We went back to the shelter for another month. Both my mom and I were working late every night, but now we had a car, so my younger brother and sister just waited out in the parking lot in the car until I got off, then we picked up my mom from her job. By the time we'd get to the shelter after work, it would be 2 a.m. and we had to be out by 8 a.m., so we were up and going by 6 or 7 every morning. It was hard to focus in school because I was so tired. Sometimes I was absent because I just had to catch up on sleep. I didn’t want to let my school know we were homeless again, but eventually I told them. And again, the teachers were great. They paid for all of my senior things, my senior dues, and I made it through. There was a point where I looked around and knew I wasn’t the only one who needed help, so I started a club called B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters Improvement Club) to help other students with their academics, self-esteem, leadership development, college and corporate world readiness, and community service. Leading that group helped keep me going. I couldn’t give up because I felt that now other people were depending on me.
Our family is back in our own place now and things are more stable. The Little Helpers organization is going to supply what my little brother and sister need for the coming school year, and things are good. I just graduated with a 3.6 GPA, and I’m headed to college in a couple of weeks. I was accepted to 36 schools, but I chose Morehouse in Atlanta. Some of my mentors took me to see the school, and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I’m going to major in Business Administration and minor in Political Science, and I plan to come back to Memphis and give back to the community here. Maybe open a shelter for teens who are going through difficult situations, help them get involved in music and sports, and help them find mentors who will guide them in planning for their future. I think the experience of being homeless helped make me stronger and more willing to help other people and not judge them. We never know what someone else is going through."
- Program honors youths who triumphed, Commercial Appeal article, 5/21/15
- Dacavien Reeves - Overton High School, Commercial Appeal article, 3/27/16
- Graduation rates among African-Americans rise in Memphis; education gap with white residents closes, Commercial Appeal, 7/19/16