Kenedi has always placed the highest value on experience and education so when school (and life) was turned upside down for her and her four younger brothers, she acted. Creating lesson plans, structure, and continuity to their school days throughout the entire time of virtual learning. Kenedi has been tutoring and mentoring youth in her community since she was 15 years old. She graduated from Cass Tech High School last year and is currently focused on building her creative portfolio in music, video and fashion design work. When not working or at home helping with her brothers you can find her at DBG helping kids with homework and math. Congratulations to Kenedi for being this year’s Detroit Youth Empowerment Award winner for Excellence in Education!
It was discovered that Khyiana was deaf at the age of two. Khyiana never let the fact that she was deaf stop her from doing anything or dreaming big. A published author at the age of 17. She created a book called Signing with Khy. An instructional ABC book teaching American Sign Language (ASL) with her black and brown family and friends, some of whom are also deaf. She is involved in numerous activities and programs. Khyiana gave her commencement speech this year at her Graduation Ceremony from Detroit School of Arts, is heading to Madonna University as a freshman and is planning the opening for her restaurant serving the deaf community. Congratulations, Khyiana for being recognized as this year’s Detroit Youth Empowerment Award winner for Individual Community Impact.
After working several jobs at a time, at one point she had five jobs all at the same time, Ja’Nye opened Detroit Flower Company in 2021 and has never looked back. Her employees describe her as the hardest working person they know. A fierce businesswoman with a kind heart. She broke into the floral market with the unique idea of making every arrangement a one-of-a-kind experience. Their work has gotten the attention of some huge celebrities but what’s most important to Ja’Nye is taking care of her family, friends, and community. If the team at Detroit Flower Company knows someone is having a bad day or needs to be lifted, they’ll send them flowers. Ja'Nye is an empowered young woman who deserves to be recognized as this year’s Detroit Youth Empowerment Award winner for Entrepreneurial Spirit. Want to know more? Follow Detroit Flower Company on IG @detroitflowerco
Dolores grew up in Southwest Detroit. She recently graduated with dual master's in Environment & Sustainability and Urban Planning at University of Michigan Ann Arbor. She began volunteering at Cadillac Urban Gardens in Southwest Detroit at the age of 15 and continued to work for Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision for many years. Dolores is passionate about everything related to food systems and the environment, whether it is coaching youth as food & farming, her coursework in Environmental Justice and Urban Planning at U-M or mentoring underrepresented undergraduates at U-M through the student org that she founded. In all these roles, she is a fierce advocate for advancing policies and narratives for self-determination in Detroit's food system. Congratulations to Dolores Perales for being this year’s Sustainable Program Award winner.
Since she was a junior in high school, Tenia has facilitated movement-based sessions for ages 3 to 17 that provide trauma education and improve emotional development. A graduate from Cass Tech High School, she is currently exceling in her fourth year at the HBCU Central State University in Ohio. She is a business major with a focus in entrepreneurship and minor in Public Relations. She still leads movement in the community and works with the Just Speak program with the purpose of improving emotional health and sharing dance as a culture across platforms. Congratulations to Tenia Squires for being this year's Community Fellowship Award winner.
At the age 6 Kevin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Being an insulin dependent child growing up and constantly being bullied discouraged him from wanting to get involved in a lot of social activities. As a result of fierce bullying, health issues, profound personal losses and depression, Kevin lost his will to live and nearly died as a result of his health issues. Kevin was given a grim prognosis and was told he had a slim chance of making a full recovery. He found strength and turned his challenges into motivation. Kevin is now a Martial Arts instructor, a personal trainer, a holistic nutritional coach and an avid volunteer throughout many elements of his community. Congratulations, Kevin Clay II, on your Detroit Youth Empowerment Award for Perseverance!