Boys Hope Girls Hope Graduate Story – Micarah Young
Micarah Young graduated at the top of her class with a degree in nursing from Georgia State University. She started her career as an Intensive Care Unit nurse at WellStar Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta’s inner-city in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
by Kristin Ostby
“Boys Hope Girls Hope influences every decision i make today.” – Micarah Young
At age 12, Micarah’s father was killed due to gun violence. Her mother was struggling to make ends meet and raise her spirited and brilliant daughter. Recognizing that Micarah had finished 6th grade algebra the first month of the school year and that she and her mother had a lot of struggles, her elementary school principal referred her to the program. “My Mom wanted us on the right path, but she didn’t have the education herself,” Micarah said. “She didn’t have much.”
Boys Hope Girls Hope, Micarah says, helped her to develop a disciplined and purposeful life. “I hated it at first, but the structure was very important for me.” Micarah appreciates that she was able to attend a Catholic school that helped her to grow in her faith. “Boys Hope Girls Hope influences every decision I make today. I learned everything from financial literacy to interview skills to etiquette. It gave me a big jump on everyone my age.”
Micarah said she benefited from connecting with the network of people who have been a part of Boys Hope Girls Hope for many years. Now that she’s a young adult, paying her own bills, Micarah said she’s “forever indebted” to the people who invested in her and the other girls, so they could become mature, grown women, women for others.” The Boys Hope Girls Hope of Pittsburgh leadership, Tom Wiese, Executive Director, and Jen Heid, Program Director, who Micarah met when she first visited the program twelve years ago “are like second and third parents to me,” she said. “They did things for me that went way beyond any job description.”
In describing Micarah, Jen Heid said, “Micarah is very driven and determined. Even with the challenges along the way, she never took her eyes off of her goals. She is one of the most hard-working people I know. I have no idea how she was able to work full time and be in school full time and earn the grades that she did. She is a leader and has a lot of influence, people watch what she does and try to emulate her.”
Micarah’s mother was inspired by her daughter’s example. When Micarah joined Boys Hope Girls Hope, her mother decided to pursue her own education. On family visit weekends, Micarah and her mother would go to the public library, or sometimes to Starbucks, and study together all day. Micarah applied for 25 scholarship per month her senior year of high school and was able to get her entire college tuition covered. . . . . . . .