By Vickie Thomas

DETROIT (WWJ) – A group of Detroit students had to overcome more than just homework and final exams to earn their high school diplomas.

WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas reports that Queen Mercadel is among the 60 students graduating from Detroit Cares Academy. How did she end up at the alternative school?

“I had got into a real, real serious fight when I was going to Mumford,” Mercadel said.

And she’s graduating with a 3.0 GPA.

“I just had a baby on the 17th of May, so I’m tending to him right now and then, I say, about maybe 6 months, 7 months, I’m probably trying to go to Marygrove.”

Mercadel credits English and Spanish teacher Kelly Keno for keeping her on track.

“Just in general, I have a love for education and, so when I meet all of the children, especially when you hear their stories, I believe that’s one of the main aspects that kind of draws you into a closer relationship with them,” Keno said.

Graduate Shakeil Whitfield said he owes a lot to his counselor who kept him on the right track.

“I wasn’t going to school. I was hanging around the wrong crowd, skipping school,” he said.

The program is closing its doors and will reopen as a charter school for 6th, 7th and 8th graders next fall.


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