Shamere, 19 - A political science major at Wayne State University; Shamere has already begun to identify issues within her community, and is doing everything in her power to make things better. When she was still at Renaissance High School, Shamere created a youth-led non-profit organization called The Black Initiative 313. With this organization, Shamere has demonstrated community service and leadership. They host donation drives for families in need, they’ve marched with focus HOPE, and use their social media platform to raise awareness for issues within the community. Shamere runs this organization all while finishing her studies at Wayne State University. Congratulations to Shamere Duncan for being this year’s Sustainable Program Award winner.
Juan, 21 - Using his landscaping company Sway Services, Juan Jr. has left a profound impact on the community. At the age of 21, Juan has been able to hire multiple friends and family members, providing them with the opportunity to learn about what he does. In addition to making the community look more beautiful with landscaping, He also mentors the youth in it. Juan’s hard work and dedication has even earned him a Spirit of Detroit award! Juan reminds us that when you achieve something, it’s important to reach back and teach others however you can. Congratulations, Juan Walker Jr. for being recognized as this year’s Detroit Youth Empowerment Award winner for Individual Community Impact.
Camilla, 23 - When she was 16 years old, Camilla started the first woman directed mariachi group, Mariachi Femenil Detroit, out of a need to create a safe musical space for women in a male-dominated genre. For six years she directed and booked the group, inspiring people and communities alike as they challenged the narrative of mariachi being a genre performed solely by men. Camilla has also stepped into a music educator role, working closely with children and teens in Detroit. In addition to this, Camilla is working to open a woman and non-binary recording studio in Southwest Detroit. Camilla is a true representation of Community Fellowship, using her gifts to not only benefit herself, but to create space for others as well. Congratulations to Camilla Cantu for being this year's Community Fellowship Award winner.
Trenton, 15 - At the age of 15, Trenton has already made a name for himself as an accomplished entrepreneur. He has his own lawn care business called T&M landscaping, and instead of playing video games on Saturday mornings, he is up and out of the door pushing his tools in a wagon, along with his lawnmower. Trenton gives out quotes, keeps track of his expenses, and cleans up vacant lots in his neighborhood just to keep it looking nice. He also dedicates his time to helping elderly people in his neighborhood with their lawns, as well. Trenton is well on his way to becoming a successful entrepreneur in his adult life. We are honored to grant Trenton Finley the Entrepreneurial Spirit award for this year!
Shamiah, 19 - Diagnosed with diabetes in 2020, the same year as the pandemic; Shamiah never let her diagnosis stop her from reaching her goals. Shamiah faced many obstacles and overcame them with flying colors. Despite her health challenges, Shamiah graduated from high school at the top of her class, and earned a full scholarship to study at Oakland University. Shamiah is an excellent role model to her younger sisters, and a wonderful example of how to keep moving forward although life throws you curveballs. Congratulations, Shamiah Woods, on your Detroit Youth Empowerment Award for Perseverance!
Aniya, 15 - Aniya is an empowered young woman who is passionate about the well-being of her community. After seeing multiple family members become dependent on drugs and alcohol, Aniya used this as an opportunity to create change. Since then, she has become a fierce advocate for living sober, traveling to a conference in Washington D.C. with CLASS Agency to help spread the message of a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. Despite her young age, Aniya has impacted the lives of many, and is a wonderful role model to even those older than her. Congratulations to Aniya for being our first ever Detroit Youth Empowerment Award winner for Above the Influence!