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After Africa, some Baraka School alumni soar while others struggle

Baraka School alumnus De'Von Brown, a student in film production, is making a documentary about murals this summer. He also spends time trying to inspire young offenders to improve their lives.
Baraka School alumnus De'Von Brown, a student in film production, is making a documentary about murals this summer. He also spends time trying to inspire young offenders to improve their lives. (Amy Davis/baltimore Sun)

"He was spending more time outside of classrooms instead of inside," Humes said. "He liked attention."

But one day, the young teen came into the house yelling, "Grandma, you've got to send me to Africa," she said.

She was unsure about the program, but she worried about her grandson's future even more.

Brown said that not only did he learn discipline at the Baraka school, but he and the other boys also were treated "just as kids," without pressure from other people.

And now, he's finishing school and doing marketing for Taharka Brothers ice cream, a business that hires young men to help teach them entrepreneurship skills. Brown said he hopes to score internships in Los Angeles to prepare for his film career, and he's considering running for public office. "I'll be like Arnold Schwarzenegger," he said jokingly.

Although his experience at the Baraka school and being a part of the documentary have helped open doors for him, Brown said, he still would have become a college graduate.

"I'd be another kid doing well," he said, but "overlooked -- the city has a lot of those kids."


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