Content brought to you by Detroit Public Schools
In the summer of 2012, Camera Edgar relocated from Georgia to Michigan to begin her sophomore year of high school.
At her old school, Edgar was just another face in the classroom, another name in the roster of students, and she says she felt like the teachers at her Jonesboro, Ga. school didn't nurture her educational experience.
"I didn't feel so welcome at my old school," says Camera, 16.
Camera needed a different learning environment where she could succeed.
"I was pretty scared that I was going to a whole new high school in an entirely different state," she says. "I felt like it was going to be like in the movies where the new girl is an outcast and turns into someone she's really not."
The teen, who aspires to work in the medical field as a psychologist, pediatrician or registered nurse, soon found the perfect school to ease her fears: Dr. Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine.
"I applied to a couple different schools, but when we got to Ben Carson, they instantly accepted me."
Named in honor of the acclaimed Detroit-born, African American pediatric neurosurgeon, the school is housed in the former Crockett Career and Technical Center building in the heart of Midtown near the Detroit Medical Center. It's the perfect place to provide a college-preparatory curriculum, which allows students to explore their interests in the science and medical fields.
"They let you know about different opportunities to volunteer to shadow doctors and learn about different science and medicine jobs," she says.
The school also boasts The Clinic for Success where students can access information on colleges nationwide and find out about new programs. That's one of many tools Edgar has taken advantage of during her past year at Detroit Public Schools – and the many achievements.
Camera received a 4.0 GPA in her first semester, along with an award for perfect attendance, a certificate of excellence for African American History and a certificate of achievement for chemistry.
She was also a Benjamin Carson Ambassador who helped promote Dr. Carson's visit to the community.
Today, she is a top student who is participating in dual enrollment at the University of Michigan Dearborn in the fall. And she's actively engaged in the school's 4-H and rotary clubs.
The key to Camera's success, she says, is the atmosphere and the guidance and attention of her teachers.
"I feel the teachers' dedication to helping me succeed motivates me to go above and beyond," she says.
And while the teen had preconceived notions about the district, those feelings faded fast once she began attending the school.
"DPS isn't a place full of people who don't care about education and brighter futures," Camera says. "There are people who want to learn and who are willing to help you learn and succeed."