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Stories / Youth

One youth's struggle to keep school a priority

Kalicha wasn’t connected with professional mentor Nakeya by accident. They shared very similar backgrounds. Both lost their mother at a young age and grew up in the similar poverty-stricken neighborhoods.

When the two met, Nakeya knew building Kalicha’s self-confidence would be an uphill battle. Nakeya created a safe space for them at Lake Washington where they each collect five stones to throw into the lake. As they throw the first three stones, they each say three negative thoughts or situations they want to leave behind. Then they throw one stone in and say one thing they are grateful for and the last stone represents something they appreciate in each other and their relationship. This is their special place. Where they are vulnerable with each other and where they built their powerful bond and trust.

So when Kalicha’s family was evicted, Nakeya was the first person she called. Kalicha transferred schools and wasn’t sure if she would have a stable place to live. In less than a year, Kalicha’s aunt—who took care of her after her mother died—passed away and she moved around to five different homes. Throughout the hardship, Nakeya has encouraged her to stay in school and graduate from high school.

These desperate times have made it hard for Kalicha to focus on school. She has one final semester before she can graduate high school. Her goal is to go to community college and start a career in fashion. She is so close to reaching her goal before entering the next chapter of her life. 

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“These desperate times have made it hard for Kalicha to focus on school. She has one final semester before she can graduate high school. Her goal is to go to community college and start a career in fashion. She is so close to reaching her goal before entering the next chapter of her life. ”