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Class of 2024: Center Line Prep’s De’onvion Byrd Left Slacking Behind, Put Success in Front

Scholars moving from middle school to high school have a lot on their minds. Thinking about how they’re going to fit in at a new school, how much harder the classes will be, and what activities they could participate in are just a few. For Center Line Preparatory Academy graduate De’onvion Byrd, add transitioning back to the classroom to her long list of changes.

In her final year of middle school, Byrd was learning fully remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This learning environment was not effective for her, and she found herself slacking. That all changed when she started high school.

Byrd posing with her graduation photo
Byrd credits her academic turnaround to a sleep schedule she created in 10th grade to help manage school and all her extracurricular activities.

Center Line Prep, which has outperformed the local district for two years, opened in Fall of 2020, the same time Byrd was transitioning to high school. When she started at the school, hybrid learning (part-time in-person instruction with a limited student body in the building) was still taking place. Even the limited class time made a big impact on her academic performance.

“I didn’t like virtual school because I knew I was going to slack,” Byrd said. “Going hybrid helped me get that one-on-one instruction and helped me get to where I am today with a 3.3 GPA.”

Once Byrd got inside of the school for hybrid learning, she was eager to get involved. Byrd was a member of the girls’ basketball team, helped tutor fellow scholars, and participated in a Latchkey program to assist younger scholars in her community before and after school.

Byrd was a member of Center Line Prep's girl's basketball team
Byrd was a member of the girls’ basketball team on top of her academic work in the Early Middle College Program and dual enrollment.

She was also a member of the Early Middle College program and took dual enrollment classes with Wayne County Community College. Byrd said these experiences helped prepare her for the next step in her journey. She will be attending Clark Atlanta University in the fall, studying business administration.

Byrd said she has always wanted to attend a Historically Black College or University. With family in the Atlanta area, it was an easy choice to go to the South’s first HBCU. Even better, she has a head start thanks to the dual enrollment credits she earned.

Byrd visited GCU with some classmates
Byrd went on a trip this year to Grand Canyon University to visit and experience college life.

Her favorite memories are the ones she will share with her friends, who have been tight knit since seventh grade.

Byrd’s parting message to fellow scholars is to be on top of your work, and she attributed her success to a self-made sleep schedule.

“Don’t slack because it’s going to bring you down,” Byrd said. “Don’t give up and accomplish your goals. I know it can be hard. My 10th grade year, I made a sleep schedule to help me keep track of everything I had going on. It helped me stay on top of it all.”

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About Center Line Preparatory Academy
Center Line Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Center Line, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through 12th grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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