Celebrating Local Black Youth: Brooke Edwards
Join us in celebrating Black excellence this month and throughout the year. This Black History Month we highlight local Black youth and the impact they’ve made in their communities. You can find all of the Local Black Heroes we’ve featured since 2020 here. Sign up for our e.news to get updates in your inbox and learn more about the impact of local heroes in your community.
Brooke Edwards, a senior at Kalamazoo Central High School, is a local leader in social justice and positive change. This highly motivated teen volunteers her time throughout the community and uplifts others toward the greater good.
Edwards is a competitive cheerleader, volunteer, and advanced placement student. On top of all of that, Edwards also works part-time and is an active member of Galilee Baptist Church. She enjoys watching movies and being with her dog, Vision – named after a favorite superhero from the Marvel Universe! – when she’s not busy with her many commitments.
Edwards is inspired by her cheer coach, Dr. Deveta Gardner (Check out her Local Black Hero feature from 2021 here!). Gardner shares, “Our young people need us. They are energetic and full of great ideas that can inspire us. They are our future.”
Beyond her role as a cheer coach, Gardner acts as a mentor to Edwards and is always willing to lend a hand with college and scholarship applications. “Sometimes I didn’t even know that Dr. Deveta did something for me until after the fact,” Edwards explains.
I hope that Black youth, especially Black girls, can look to me and see that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.Brooke Edwards
YOUTH ARE THE CHANGE
In 2022, the city of Kalamazoo recognized Edwards for her effort in fighting social and racial injustices. An 11th grader at the time, Edwards received a Social Justice Youth Award for her volunteerism and leadership in causes that promote justice and equity.
“We are the change in the world,” Edwards shared in an interview with WWMT. “…it’s important that my peers and younger people like me know what the right thing to do is and what to fight for.”
Looking toward the future, Edwards hopes to pursue a career as a corporate or business attorney. Though she has been accepted to several colleges and universities, she is weighing her options before deciding which one she would like to commit to.
While college decisions loom, one thing is for sure: she hopes to mentor other youth as she continues to grow into adulthood. “I want Black females to know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” she shares.
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
When asked to share any thoughts she would like to share with other youth, Edwards urges, “Don’t let where you’re from define where you’re going.”
A role model to many, Brooke Edwards will leave a legacy of reaching for the sky and encouraging those around her to do the same.