Voices of Youth: Teen reporter captures development disparity in Detroit

This story is part of a series that sees youth partnered with writing, photography, and art mentors to help capture their own perspective and narrative. The program is made possible with funding from the Skillman Foundation.
Makayla Grice's Voices of Youth project was inspired by what she sees as the disparity between the development in downtown Detroit and her own neighborhood.

The homeschooler in 10th grade says that she has observed "one or two abandoned homes" in nearly every neighborhood in Detroit, but that downtown there is constant building of new apartment homes and entertainment venues that don't seem to serve the residents.

"Fixing all these apartments but still abandoned houses?," she writes, "Still people on the street hungry, cold and so on. I love Detroit but they need to get it together. It’s amazing how downtown or dominantly white communities look so nice compared to the Black communities." 

Grice was mentored by Chrishelle Griffin, who helped her create a visual project designed for social media. 

In her personal statement, Grice referenced Shamayim "Mama Shu" Harris of Avalon Village in Highland Park who has been able to rally investors and community members to help her build a village that serves children and local residents as someone that she looks up to and admires.

Grice's mentors hope she continues to seek the answers to the question that seems to be heavy on her heart: "Where is the progress in my community?"

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