If there is one thing a global pandemic can reveal, it’s how important our health is.

For Charles, the health of his community is equally important — and he feels a responsibility to take care of it.

“Whatever I’m going to do, it’s going to be in the medical field,” Charles explained. “Whether it’s a surgeon or an EMS driver, I want to be in the medical field.”

As a sophomore at Central High School, Charles already has his sights set on a future in which he gives back to his community and the City of Detroit.

“I want to serve,” he said. “There are needs everywhere here in Detroit, right around the corner, in every neighborhood. So, I absolutely plan to come back after I go to college.”

Charles is already putting words into action as a member of LRYA, the Life Remodeled Youth Alliance, where he mentors younger children during after-school programs much like the ones he benefited from.

“I joined Lawn Academy at the Durfee Innovation Society,” Charles said. “Their focus is on leadership development. Then my first job was at Life Remodeled. When I saw everything DIS had and everything Life Remodeled was doing for the community, I just wanted to help out as much as I can.”

Charles knows there’s more to be done though.

“A lot of people in the neighborhood need food. People need jobs and even basic things like access to the internet or even a place to do their laundry,” he said. “We know what we need though, and know we need to work together to provide it for ourselves.”

Charles also knows that it’s not always easy to ask for help, so he makes a point to offer it.

“Kids can be scared to ask for stuff. I know how that feels. I know how it feels to be scared or embarrassed to ask for something you need. It’s important that they know someone knows how it feels. So, I offer whatever I can.”

One day, Charles hopes he can offer something that would no doubt make the community healthier.

“I want to open up a clinic at Durfee,” he said. “I want people to be able to walk in and get the services they need to stay healthy. That’s what I want to do for people… Because we have to be there for each other. We have to work together to build the community we want. That’s how we get stronger.”

In other words… We all really do need somebody to lean on.