A documentary series


Told by Princaya, Davioin, Courtney, Tyler, and Shakeer

Growing up in West Baltimore, a neighborhood plagued with high unemployment and generational poverty, Princaya, Davioin, Courtney, Tyler, and Shakeer live with drug violence at their doorsteps and fears of being killed by the police.

Speaking for African American youth throughout the country growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods, they share the challenges of their world. The five documentaries filmed over a seven-year period, from sixth grade to high school graduation, capture their resilience and determination to find a better life.

About the Stars

12th Grade: From West Baltimore

MPT AIR DATE: November 12, 2022 at 7pm

In 12th grade, academic pressure intensifies along with the challenge of college applications. Not able to afford college tuition or housing, they must also navigate the complex world of financial aid. By the spring of senior year, they celebrate their many acceptances.

But putting together the financial packages necessary for full funding is the greatest barrier to achieving their college dream. Remembering the inspiring words of Ray Lewis, they continue the journey.

We got a deal. We're finishing this race, right?
Ray Lewis

10th and 11th Grade: From West Baltimore


10th grade, a year of extraordinary achievement, suddenly crashes in March 2020 with pandemic upheaval. The isolation of virtual learning and lack of resources in their community intensifies the trauma. Messages of hate and racism accelerate with the killing of George Floyd, fueling their fear of police.

Encouraging them to pursue their college dream, Wes Moore inspires them to continue their quest.

Anyone who tells you the journey is easy, is not telling you the truth, but just know the journey is not yours to make alone.
Wes Moore

9th Grade: From West Baltimore


Determined to succeed, Princaya, Shakeer, Davioin, Tyler and Courtney are excited to be accepted at the most prestigious public high schools. Competing with Baltimore’s best, challenged as never before, they realize each grade counts not only for high school, but also for college.

On a special trip to Annapolis, they are inspired by a visit with Maryland State Senator Jill Carter.

You may not always win... but you can push a little further in the right direction.
Jill Carter

8th Grade - From West Baltimore


8th grade is a year of incredible pressure. To be accepted at one of the few highly competitive college preparatory high schools in Baltimore, they must get very high scores on a city mandated standardized test. And now as young teens, they begin to realize the racial stereotypes that define youth in their neighborhoods.

They made us to where we don’t even like ourselves.

From West Baltimore (6th and 7th Grade)


In middle school, Princaya, Davioin, Courtney, Tyler and Shakeer already have dreams for a better future. Unaware of the many barriers to success plaguing their community, they focus on education to take them to the world they want.

I believe the world doesn’t control what you do, you determine what you want to do.