BURTON, MI -- Burton Glen Charter Academy 8th Grade Student Zaria Mitchner says she pretty sure what she’s going to do for a profession when she grows up.
“Probably a lawyer, and probably play professional basketball. I have a lot of family members, and younger family members, that look up to me,” Mitchner says.
Helping students like Mitchner, and more than 100 other students at the academy was the goal of this year’s Black History Month assembly. The academy invited one of the great success stories from the city of Flint, Olympic Gold Medal Boxer Claressa Shields, to share her story with the kids. Shields says if it wasn’t for a coach believing in her when she was 9 years old, she wouldn’t be where she is today.
“I think that’s what a lot of these kids need in schools, and even at home. It just starts with telling a child that they can be something,” Shields explains.
8th Grade Intervention Specialist Lamont Wright says many of the kids in the academy should be inspired by Shields’ journey from Flint to being a world champion.
“The kids will see her and say that they can be anything they want to be. They can do anything they want to do. They don’t have to be a product of their environment,” Wright says.
Shield’s has hopes of bringing a second gold medal back to Flint from the 2016 Olympics. She has qualified for the Olympic Trials which will be held in Memphis this November.