Destiny Brown and Nancy Zook

Recorded June 8, 2021 Archived June 8, 2021 20:51 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: chi003557


Destiny Brown (18) talks to her teacher, Nancy Zook (55), about her life, her family, her experience at CCA Academy, and her plans for the future after graduation.

Subject Log / Time Code

DB recites her "I Am" statement for the I Am project.
DB talks about her grandma.
DB gives advice to students struggling with depression.
DB talks about what frustrates her and what makes her happy.
DB talks about how CCA Academy has helped her.
DB talks about being proud of herself for graduating.
DB thinks about where she wants to be in 5 years.
DB reads her "I Am" statement again.


  • Destiny Brown
  • Nancy Zook

Recording Location

Virtual Recording

Venue / Recording Kit

Partnership Type




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00:00 Destiny Brown, I'm 18 years old. Today is the 8th of January 2020. What is 2?

00:11 I'm sorry. Hey, my name is, Destiny Brown. I'm 18 years old, is June 8th 2021 and I'm at CCA Academy. I'm here with Nancy zook and she is my teacher and mentor and Nancy is 55. Today is June 8th 2021. I am here with Destiny Brown. She is a student of mine here at Academy in Chicago.

00:55 So you want to start off with some I am statements? Yes. I am brave. I'm smart.

01:03 I am beautiful. I am black. I'm intelligent.

01:11 I am love.

01:13 I am me. Just right. So what are what's going through your head right now? You're getting ready to graduate, graduate. What are you thinking about for the summer and be on this summer? I plan on, I plan on working with you. But right now I'm trying to focus on me by now who I am. And what's my destiny and wonder? What do I want to proceed in life? I'm thinking about going to school for social working for cosmetology because I do want to be able to. I like to do hair and do Hands-On things, but I would like to work with different people and teach them.

01:59 How to be a leader? I would like to just work with young, you show them the right way and how to do things.

02:09 That's great. Who's been the biggest influence in your life, but my parents, but the biggest influence.

02:20 I could say, my grandma.

02:22 Because I feel that by her being older, older, older and Florence, she been through everything. So she knows more, she's growing wiser, and she's very spiritual. So she teaches me a lot because she been through what I've been through. She already been there and done it so she can sell me. Hey, that's not right.

02:44 How would your friends describe you?

02:51 Elmo baby outgoing. My friends would describe outgoing mean a little bit. Yeah. We just a minute. Hold on.

03:12 You found me when you said that.

03:16 Okay.

03:18 My friends would describe me very outgoing sometimes a little mean, but the only reason why I come off me and because I care and I would like for them. I tell the truth, but I did not.

03:38 My parents would describe me. My mom. She would describe me. Very smart. She would say I'm more like her on My Mini-Me. We look just like so she would describe me that my father. He probably describe me all crazy like cuz I'm always doing something crazy or just funny and I will

04:09 Oh, this is so my brothers and sisters describe me as

04:16 Oh, no.

04:17 Probably the same way as my father. Me describe me outgoing may be mean and irritated because I'm in Zebulon. So they think I've ever taken and I'll be happy when I leave or when I come back baby. Happy to go.

04:39 What do you think? It's important for other students your age to know or think about? I feel like, think about.

04:49 You got a soul in this world is that you never know. If you going to come across I feel like it's being a teenager. You going to come across a lot of obstacles for school home. You going to go through changes, going to go to depression and stuff. I feel that for young, you like my age. You don't have. So you going to go through stuff, you was up to you. Like it's up to you. If you going to let that get to you. I feel like a lot of people go to depression and I was in depression for a minute like this school year. It has been the worst year of my life because of the fact that the covid and stuff, but just School in itself, is with stress stressful and stuff. I had surgery. So I feel like

05:36 Pushed through, don't give up. Cuz if you give up your giving up on yourself and at the end of the day, it's going to be a testimony for you to speak and understand walking testimony. So you just gotta

05:51 Keep it pushin. Keep pushin.

05:57 Do you want to do some more? I am? Yes, I am.

06:02 I am brave. I am smart.

06:07 I'm loving.

06:09 I'm fine.

06:12 I am helpful.

06:14 I'm full of hope. I am faith. I am Destiny Brown.

06:29 I'm sorry, I wear glasses. So how have you changed in your life? And how have you stayed the same? Okay, so okay. So so I changed the thing that I changed in my life far as being mature because icing

06:47 I used to be nice to have no filter when I actually got kicked out of my freshman year. So I feel like by me getting kicked out and come here and have made me a better person. Start taking life more seriously.

07:03 I feel like as you get older you start to grow and think different start the mature. You got to know.

07:10 I feel like you start to set boundaries and stuff because a lot of people will come in your circle and then it really not for you. They only want you for that benefit. So I have to like say what's going on. Changing setting. My circle around people that's like minded like me who is for me. I don't want to be something that I'm not. So I rather be by myself and be around a bunch of people who's going to Florence me to do things that I'm not comfortable with.

07:43 The things that I did, say the same.

07:49 Maybe me, I'm still getting to know myself. So.

07:54 Maybe.

07:57 The way I don't know too much because Through The Years you still going to change. So I'm still finding myself. So I can't say I stayed the same. I'm still growing and I'm exploring the

08:14 Okay, the things that frustrates me, I don't like being under pressure. And other thing is that I always wait last minute to do things and it make it hard on myself. Because like recently, I could have been done with school, just like this, all my classes, but I decided to wait till the last minute to take finish my work. But by the grace of God, I finished it. So I'm glad I'm graduating nothing else to say. So,

08:49 My attitudes. That one thing that frustrates me because I'm still young. I wanna explore the world and I think I know everything. So I don't like surprise. So if things don't go my way, I get upset. What makes me happy is my family. I love the support.

09:10 My grandma. My grandma always make me happy even when I'm mad. She say something that's funny. So she put a smile on my face.

09:21 Yeah.

09:25 If you could change the world, what would you think? If I could change the world? I would change. What's going on in my community, in my area. I will provide more jobs in a black. You, I will have more black owned business. I feel like as a black who stays in black community. We are the most consumers, we always buying things, but we, we don't have. We don't spend it in our own community, in our own area, but I feel that

09:59 We should start.

10:02 Having more black owned business, not on community, so that we won't have to go out and spend money with other. It's not the wrong. I just feel like the money can go in our area so that we can give back to each other. We can have our own events and different things and that nature.

10:25 What's something that's happened to you in your life? That has had a really big influence on you, some experience that you had.

10:34 Maybe.

10:38 Experience.

10:40 Oh, okay. Being aware of my while being aware of my surroundings. So just knowing

10:49 No, that's not my P. An experience that you witnessed something in your past that had a great influence on you.

11:07 Maybe getting kicked out because if I didn't get kicked out of school, I might would have been doing the same thing. And I graduated earlier early. I actually failed, the great. So I was going to be 19 graduating, but by me coming here, I need a less credit and it was just my freshman year, so I came here and sleep with me as a sophomore. They told me, I need this amount of credits to graduate. I was 16. So I made it to the deadline to come to the school, has to be 16 to come to the school. So I just the teachers, there are more caring. I just feel like this is a great experience because any other school, they want to do what they did. For me. They make sure I graduated on time. They push me to do what I need to do.

12:00 So I feel like this is experience. I thank God for real. That is not any just took me to realize, like for real. I'm so serious. Like I feel like crying cuz I'm so serious because like if that never happened,

12:16 I probably would have been when I was at probably works. Because yacht didn't really help me to become a better person and that's life for real. Just me thinking about that last touch you for real, and then like all the stuff. I've been going through. I don't want to get off topic but the depression and stuff.

12:39 Like just had to tell me where the hell y'all have been good. God been good because it won't been no way that I would have passed. Because how many times I gave up on myself. So this has been a great experience.

12:54 Thank you.

12:59 I am statements. Okay?

13:05 I'm forgiving.

13:09 I am happy.

13:12 I am blessed. I am grateful. And I am thankful.

13:19 I am me.

13:26 I feel like I'm in a real interview.

13:36 Good. I'm glad. Thank you.

13:40 Okay, the biggest and I are proud of and proud that I made it through school. I'm proud. I need a break. I feel like I am going to go to college. I'm going to wait for college, but not so strong. Maybe I'm going to start not in August, but later on because I need to time to gather who I am. I need time to explore what I want to do in life. But I am going to school. I got a I got some for real. Just want to know if I'm not mental. If I'm not straight up here. I might do what I did and then they leave you going to be that easy because I had people to help me. But one thing I am proud of our proud of that. I made it to the school. This process I am I'm just that's why I'm proud of I'm proud that I did something for myself. I accomplished this, a lot of people don't even graduate school. A lot of people don't even make it to 18 for for me to accomplish something like this.

14:40 Thank you.

14:47 What do you know what? You're going to school for? Or where you're going to school? I was thinking about going to snow today.

14:54 ESO Notre Dame is like they are Partners where where I work at. So I work at Saint actor with my parents. So I am a mentor. They they are like partner was saying I could do, so they actually will pay for me to go to school. Yeah, so

15:15 Where do you think you're going to be 5 years from now?

15:22 Successful. Ashley. Somebody told me. They seen the vision for me. I don't know. How do you say that? A lot of people told me, when I was young, like you going to be rich, you going to success with Mexico and told me. Don't forget him when I'm rich ass. When I was like in 7th grade, one of my classmates. He told me he going to be famous. She going to be on the talk show. She told me that, I'm so serious, but this man told me, he see me getting a massive, walk across the stage. Getting my Master's Degree. So I'm at work. I see myself in 5 years, having my own business, my own car. No family yet, but getting myself together.

16:10 Just trying to find my way in this world. That's why.

16:17 Wsda, work, working with you.

16:22 Having my own business and stuff. What frightens you

16:29 Losing myself. That's what frightened me going through, depression. I hate I don't like being depressed. I used to I used to like the feeling of being depressed. When I had certain song. It makes me, you know, that feeling of being said, but once you're in deep and depressed, you don't feel like doing nothing. So it's just like

16:52 You give up on yourself, and I don't even know. That's the worst feeling for real. That's what frightens me. I don't want to lose myself because I used to before I first came here. I was doing good. Like I was straight A's and I started to bees. I was going to church every day. I was doing real good. I started working. I want to be able to provide for myself. I don't like asking people stuff. I want to be independent. So I started working and like I got big headed. I thought I could do a lot and that just messed me up in.

17:32 The money. This wasn't even what made me happy for real. I was making a lot of money, but it wasn't making me happy. I feel like when you got yourself together and, you know what you want, and you and for your goal. I feel like I'm being able to do things in the compass, your goals. That's what makes you happy. So, I lost who I was. I don't forgot like everything. I was in a fool. I was lacking in school. I was worried about work school and work was in the way. I was dressed. So I end up leaving my job during the summer because it was why was I was going through a little racism stuff too. So like I'm not going to be around some people who don't, you know, so I'm just going to leave I left.

18:20 I ain't got a job now, but I'm getting like the $400 stipend, but that's good enough.

18:27 That's my biggest fear, losing a side of who I am and forgetting where I came from. A lot of people who get rich. They forget who they who they even who they are, and what they, they forget, the struggles and how hard it is to get for them yet. And that's how a lot of people messed up and get it and fall down. I don't want to be one of those people.

18:52 Then get influenced by the wrong people and start doing the wrong things for us, drugs, and other things. So I don't want no parts of that.

19:01 Just have been stinking. Yeah.

19:10 Do you want me to do today? And I know you could do. I am again, if you want.

19:16 I'm intelligent.

19:19 I'm smart.

19:24 I think I said all that. I am. I got to find somewhere. I am.

19:38 A sister. I am a sister.

19:44 I'm a daughter.

19:47 I'm not.

19:49 I am loved.

19:53 I'm a granddaughter. I am a friend.

19:59 I'm a student.

20:03 I am a.

20:08 What is cca's motto?

20:12 CCA smart o i m c c a s model.

20:25 I am a mentor.

20:34 You have anything else? You want to add something else you want to say?

20:39 I just want to say don't ever give up on yourself because anything is possible for real. That's what I want to say.