Innovator Cheyanne Robinson mentors peers to make Detroit a better place for her generation.
By Ri’An Jackson
Featured photo via Justin Milhouse
With the help of others, Cheyanne Robinson is empowering her community.
The 17-year-old senior at Denby High School is uplifting young girls through mentorship, and conceiving innovative ideas for a safer, cleaner and more inspirational environment for students at Detroit schools.
She volunteers alongside mentors at My Sister Circle, a nonprofit that boosts the lives of young girls and their self-esteem by teaching them essential life skills.
Being a source of positivity for young girls motivates Robinson. “We get to show girls how to love themselves and how to make goals for the future,” she says. “It feels great to be inspiring.”
She is also a part of the Detroit District 4 Youth Council. Here, she collaborates with fellow students to produce community service projects that solve issues in Detroit.
Her group has thought of ways to save water in Detroit schools and increase safety for students commuting to school in the dark. They also decided to bring Caught Up, a male mentoring program, back to Denby High School.
“The main goal of the project is to shape young black males into responsible young adults … it will keep young men off the street and from engaging in negative activities,” Robinson says. “I am interested in this because I want to inspire and invest in the youth considering I am a part of this generation.”
This program will return next school year, and all male students can attend.
Aside the community projects, Robinson is committed to working with other mentoring organizations, assisting at soup kitchens and preparing for college. Amid this, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
“What sets her apart is the fact that not only is she very apt academically, she is also able to make learning cool,” says Patrick Mullan-Koufopoulos, Robinson’s English teacher. “Students see Cheyanne getting homework done, they see her asking questions and they want to do the same.”
Although Robinson already has a long list of achievements, she is not going to stop here. Besides continuing to work with My Sisters Circle, her goals include achieving a high score on the SAT and attending a university to study psychology or health.
“With her determination, with her willpower, with her commitment and dedication to the work that she does, the possibilities are endless in her high school career, college career and beyond,” Mullan-Koufopoulos says. “I think that not only will she make a lot of change, but the people that she inspires, the generation that she brings with her, will be able to do the same.”
Cheyanne is a 2019 SEEN Young Changemaker. Read more about the finalists: