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GHA Teen ‘STEAMS’ Along to College

Davion M.,18, begins his collegiate career this fall at the University of North Georgia – an admirable venture for any young man or woman, but cause for cheer for anyone from an inner-city low-income environment.

Davion grew up at the Green Hunter Homes (Atlanta Street). 

Early on, he threw himself into the resident services programs offered by GHA. And one of the Davion’s first classes began in 2012, in a fledgling art class at the Melrose community center. The class was a STEAM-based class (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) based on creative thinking and problem solving.

Incidentially, that art program (Art Academy) later won a national award for innovation.
Since then, the Art Academy prompted many other creative thinking programs, including entrepreneurship programs, among others.

Davion ‘grew up’ in these STEAM-based classes. He even began helping the program teachers, serving refreshments, picking up trash and helping the younger students.

Jananne Waller, a Harvard-trained teacher and artist, has worked with Davion for the six years through several public housing programs. 

In one such program, Awaken, Jananne and a half dozen volunteers led programs to kids five afternoons a week, serving up to 75 kids daily by offering homework help, etiquette coaching, dance and art classes, field trips and other activities.

Jananne recalls a moment when Davion showed leadership potential during Awaken.

“Years ago, when Davion was much younger, he organized the distribution of hundreds of donated lunches (in public housing). He gathered two friends and within hours the lunches had been shared. He is always dependable. He gives his time so unselfishly – a wonderful creative young man,” she said.

Later, Davion assisted Jananne in instructing an entrepreneurship class, working with younger children at Harrison Square.

And today, as he embarks on his college journey, Davion plans on studying business as well as graphic design. Ideally, he’d like to travel abroad to study, perhaps in Germany.

Whatever direction he chooses, we wish Davion the very best in his career and life as he ‘STEAMS’ ahead to new challenges and opportunities.

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