Micahaya Cooper

Micahaya Cooper is taking on the world! She is moving on from MLK Jr. Middle School to high school with the confidence and the conviction to make the most of every opportunity within reach.

The oldest of six siblings, Micahaya is caregiver and backup for her working mom—a mom that is providing for seven children after the death of their father. Being in this role as the eldest is not without challenges. Micahaya’s significant responsibilities at home often left her feeling isolated and angry, keeping her from making friends and engaging at school. During seventh grade, she struggled with attendance and grades.

CIS-R Coordinator Tameka DePriest and the MLK staff created a support system. By working one-to-one with Ms. DePriest, Micahaya began to open up to new opportunities. During her 8th grade year, Micahaya was back on the honor roll status and participated in a wide range of after-school electives including VCU Forensics Club, the MLK Step Team, the Girls’ Book Club and the school’s Girl Scout troop.

“Micahaya is a role model to her siblings but she has also grown into a role model to peers at MLK,” said Ms. DePriest. “Everything that I learn through CIS- R and my mentors, I teach to my peers and siblings,” Micahaya said. The CIS-R pipeline has made it possible to follow Micahaya from elementary to middle school and continue on to Armstrong High School.

When she was nominated for a Moving On Scholarship Award, Micahaya said, “This award means a lot to me. I actually get to show all the things I did and all the work I put in.” With so many interests to choose from, Micahaya enrolled in several day camps across metro Richmond including a week of culinary classes.

Now a student at Armstrong High School, she is maintaining her GPA, volunteering daily in after-school programming and has a wealth of new experiences to draw from. She also has a CIS-R Coordinator to help her along the way.

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