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Young Trailblazer Nominee

Jakye Nunley

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Nominations

Nominated By Shaun Varnado

“Jakye is a great kid but more than that he’s driven, motivated and a natural born leader. He is a sophomore at Eaglecrest high school in Aurora, Co. Jakye is a 4.0 student ,a part of student leadership, student counsel ,Elevate (Elevate is a program that gives kids of color a home away from home) he’s a music artist, He does commercials/ public service announcements on social media and holds down a part time job. I tell my kids all the time “If you give 120%, you’ll get 120+ back.” I truly believe he deserves a platform to shine and like the magazine says, “We shine brighter together.” Just feels different when our own people recognize your greatness. As a young man a person that didn’t look like me told me “you have to be twice as good to be half as bad as your competition.” This is why I nominate Jakye Nunley the young man stands alone.”

Jakye Nunley

Article By Tina Purnell

Jakye Nunley, pronounced (Juh-kye), is as unique as his name. A current sophomore at Eagle Crest high school where he is soaring high academically, with possibilities of an early graduation on the horizon, Nunley is proud of the fact he has never missed an Honor Roll award since the sixth grade. He has also received awards both in school and out, one of his achievements being a fan-favorite album award mentioned in the 303 Magazine for his music, which will be discussed a little later in the article.

Besides excelling in his schoolwork, this tenacious 4.0 student is also involved in a number of groups that aim to help strengthen the community and provide unity as well as support for his fellow peers. Brotherhood, a group for young black men, Student Council and Avid are just a few that he serves in, however, Elevate is one that he is particularly fond of because of the amount of hands-on work in the community that it requires. In consideration of all that Jakye loves to do for his community, it is safe to say that he has a good understanding of what shining brighter together means to him.

“I love any form of empowerment and lifting up people, and anyone that has a success story—I want to hear it. So, Elevate helps me reach out to my peers more and be more involved in the community.”

The people around Jakye really take notice of his ability to be bold and take a stand for what he believes in, regardless of what it is. In Student Council as well as Elevate, he was challenged to find solutions and resources for a family in need all while pushing the group to meet the need with excellence.  He didn’t just want to give them something tangible, but he wanted the family to feel the true support, love and concern that they had for them. Going the extra mile for people or a cause is what makes this young man so unique. He is not afraid of a challenge and he expects others around him to show- up too! This is why he loves being involved with groups that feel the same way that he does about the community.

After going hard for his community and working at his part-time job, Jakye loves to make music. Since the age of five he has had an interest and feels that it’s a great way to express himself.  He is a mix master of all his own music and even has an artist name that he goes by; you can find him on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube music as “Kye The Artist.”

A piece of advice that Jakye lives by is to always access and re-access the opportunities in front of you. Finding ways to make things more beneficial and not settle for less is something that he is always mindful of. For instance, he had to make a decision to apply for a job that was closer to his home versus one that was further away so that it would be more cost effective. After he made the switch, he was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the position also came with higher pay. Change is not always simple, and it can be a little challenging at times, but Jakye believes in pushing himself to the limits.

“Don’t drown in simple; you can’t limit yourself and do the best for yourself as well.”

Another thing that Jakye feels is very important is to learn how to manage stress. Everyone manages stress differently and for him, taking a nice long nap is what he feels does the trick. Afterward, he usually wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to explore more of what the day will bring his way.

Jakye also understands what it will take to help the older generation connect with younger ones. He wants adults to know that youth have their struggles just as they have their own and feels that adults understanding this instead of comparing their struggles to the younger generation, and sometimes even belittling them, is one thing that would help to strengthen the bond between the two.

“Life doesn’t exclude hardships just because of your age. You could be 10 or 45 years old with a struggle and we all have to take time to recognize that.”

In the future, Nunley wants to own a business with his name touching the automotive, clothing, music and film industries; as he is a firm believer of having multiple streams of income. Making an impact in the community and creating opportunities for everyone is something that he aspires to do. His mindset is one that likes to see others win, not just himself and at this rate, he will do just that.

 

My Black Colorado Transcript

Introduce yourself

My name is Jakye (juh-kye) Nunley. I got to Eaglecrest High School. I’m currently a sophomore. I’m class of 2023 technically, however, the way my credits are set up at the moment, I can graduate early! So we’ll see how that plays out. I’m involved in Brotherhood, Elevate, student council, and Avid (Advanced Via Individual Determination) which also takes a lot of time.

Tell me a little bit about those different organizations and what’s your involvement with each of them?

So Brotherhood. I don’t have any position title yet. We don’t do that in Brotherhood. Brotherhood is just a group of young black men at Eagle Crest to strengthen that community. There’s also a program that runs alongside it which is Sisterhood for young black women. So those two programs work a lot together. The student council is everything you could expect a student council to be like homecoming, prom, and posters. I don’t have an exact position with that either, but maybe next year I’ll run for one.  Elevate. is my favorite program because we do so much hands-on work and we get out in the community and we are all about community to purely uplift others. I love any form of empowerment and uplifting people, and anybody who has a success story. I want to hear it. So, Elevate helps me reach out to my peers more and be more involved in my community, but other people outside of the club too. So I love that it’s targeted towards the black youth at Eagle Crest. So all black youth like male, female, nonbinary, Elevate has a place for you.  Avid is mostly academics that helps keep me organized and stay on track.

What would you say people value about you the most?

So one thing that people in my inner circle can value about me is my ability to be bold and stand up for anything I believe in regardless of what it is. For example, I’m in two different clips: student council and Elevate. They both had the same situation for us to put into play when we had a family in our community whose house burned down. Elevate, in my opinion, handled it better because we got some food together for the family and we raised about $1,100 donations for the family. The student council also addressed the issue but they made goody bags. I mentioned that as the group that we are because the student council is a larger group than Elevate, we can use all of the resources that we have among all of us and come up with something way better than goody bags and try to refocus our resources to contribute to some a little bit more. But not everybody was necessarily on board with refocusing their current focus and that’s fine. So my value is the ability to be bold and stand up for anything. That’s something that people around me can value the most about me is my ability to stand up for myself and what I believe in and be bold about it.

When you are not in class what are things you enjoy being involved with it and why

I make music, I rap. I’m a mix master of all of my music. I go by Khy The Artist on Spotify, Apple Music, Title, YouTube music, etc. Other than that I work a lot. Both of those things are putative to me because money is, of course, therapeutic, and music is there because I like expressing myself since I was in fifth grade. It’s very versatile.

What’s the best advice you have received?

It’s crazy that this wasn’t even a conversation with someone. I was just up late on Instagram before I went to sleep and I came across a quote from a poet named Jasmine Mans and they said, “Don’t drown in simple looking for deep,” and that hit me and instantly resonated with me. It’s as if you’re in three feet you but think you’re in eight feet of water, so you can’t settle for what is presented to you when you get in the pool immediately.

What’s an example of that applying to your life?

I’m currently at my first actual job. So I live in Aurora by Eaglecrest. If you can just picture that area in Aurora, my mom and my dad would take me 20 minutes every day to Green Valley because where my first job was at. But then I thought, “Okay. This isn’t productive.” because the cost that it takes to get here and get back on that it takes to get here and get back isn’t beneficial versus if I were to apply the one closer to my house. So I applied to the one closer to home; but, not only was it closer, they started me at a higher rate. So you don’t drown in simple; you can’t limit yourself and not do the best for you as well.

What is one thing that you want to get better at?

Everyone has their way of handling stress, but I take a nap when I get stressed.

What is one piece of advice that you think adults need to hear to help them connect with the younger generation?

The best advice I think the older generation can use to convey the younger generation is that we struggle, too. I feel like adults sometimes belittle and compare their struggles versus our struggles or they’ll compare their current struggles and our struggles. But, in my mind, a struggle is a struggle no matter who, what, or when. Life doesn’t exclude hardships just because of your age. You could be 10 or 45 years old with a struggle and we all have to take time to recognize that.

What accomplishments or awards are you most proud of and why?

These three awards: My first one is I have never missed an Honor Roll Award since sixth grade. From the time that I could get them, I had them. I’m proud of that. I received an AVID Exemplary Student Award last year. Finally, outside of school, I got a fan-favorite album in the 303 Magazine for my music.

What impact have you made in the community that you are most proud of and why?

I would say Elevate when we helped but Santos’ family whose house burned down. I was proud that we were able to raise that much money of about $1,100 and gave them a bunch of food. So it was deep to me knowing that it could be any of us in the community including me, so that was big to me.

What do you think you want to do for a career and why?

I want to own my own business, but I want to own an enterprise of businesses. I want my name to touch the automotive, clothing, music, and probably the film industry altogether. You just have to have multiple streams of income if you want to be set.

Is there anything else that you want to talk about or mention for this article that we’re going to write up for you?

I’m grateful for the opportunity. I love opportunities and I want to see everybody win! I’m not someone who is self-centered and only thinks opportunities are for me only because there’s no way that everybody could win if you do that. f you do that.

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