Keshuna “I refuse to be another number”
“I refused to be another number for DHS,” Keshuna, 18, said about the percentage of foster care youth who do not graduate from high school. “I wanted to beat them, and beat the system.” So, on graduation night at Calloway High School, when she heard the principal announce, “Keshuna,” she knew that she had indeed won.
While at Calloway, Keshuna’s favorite class was Advance Seminar, and there she thrived in creative writing. Writing is an outlet for her, where she expresses her feelings and emotions. She has dreams of writing her own book one day, and with her creativity and passion, there is no doubt that she can accomplish this.
In the fall, she plans on attending Hinds Community College and majoring in Journalism and drama. She hopes to be able to live in the dorms on campus after the first semester. Keshuna also has a love for sports. She likes basketball, but excels in softball. She played on Calloway’s softball team, where she was a pitcher. She hopes to be able to play softball at Hinds in the fall.
As a resident of MCH since February of 2014, she has grown to love living here. “I have lived in a lot of foster homes, where I’d have to call my social worker all the time because of problems. I hardly ever have to call her now. Things are just better here,” she says. Things are better because whenever she needs something, Ms. Black, her Child Care Consultant and Mr. Devon Loggins, the Vice President of Programs and Services, are there to take care of it. “I have everything I need at the right time, and without hesitation.” She also says that she feels special here. “I never imagined that I would have had so many people come to see me graduate.” She said of the MCH staff members who came to support her that night. “That would not have happened anywhere else.”
Keshuna said that she would advise the younger students to not depend on DHS to do anything for you. In life, you have to do things for yourself. “Don’t let them give you a number, beat the statistics, “she says. “ I never thought I could do it, and when I heard my name that night, I was shaking so much with pride, and realized that I just did!”