ABOUT THIS PROJECT: Chalkbeat partnered with Capturing Belief, a Detroit nonprofit that teaches students to use photography and prose to share their lives and tell stories within their communities, to showcase two photo projects. Detroit students London Hill and Rahmyza Muhammad spent a year working with mentors from Capturing Belief to document their lives. Rahmyza will be a freshman at the College for Creative Studies, and London is heading into her senior year at Renaissance High School.

During Rahmyza Muhammad’s senior year at the Detroit School of Arts, she felt like she was “waiting for toast to pop out the toaster.” But even now, she sometimes still can’t believe she graduated and is headed to college.

There have been big changes for Rahmyza, 17, since last summer, both academically and in her everyday life. In July 2022, she, her sister, and her mother moved from a homeless shelter — where they had been living since the previous October — into their own house. That made it easier for her to do schoolwork. It meant more privacy for everyone, less stress for her mother, and no more communal showers. And it shortened the bus rides she had to take to and from school. 

She also participated in the pre-college program at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, which she’ll attend in the fall. And she also expanded her social circle during her senior year, when Rahmyza felt she was a more mature person than as a junior. 

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Rahmyza, who will attend the College for Creative Studies in the fall, said she’s “excited to meet new people. And I’m glad to stay in the area.”

But she plans to study abroad sophomore or junior year. Where will she go? She hasn’t decided yet.