Local News

Extraordinary Teen Doing Her Part To Keep Peers Away From Gangs, Drugs

Posted May 16, 2006 7:19 a.m. EDT

— Rap music, basketball, and drawing are some things an ordinary teen turned to instead of some of the things going on around her such as gangs, drugs and alcohol. Now, she is using what she has learned to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of younger kids.

Willisa Covington has places to go and people to see. The Enloe High School senior conceived the idea and is now planning a fundraising concert.

"I'm a visionary, not temporary in the game. My name will forever be embedded in your brain," Covington said in a rap song.

Covington will donate a portion of the proceeds to one of her greatest loves, The Boys & Girls Club. She has been an active member for 11 years.

"The Boys & Girls Club teaches you good morals and values, so you can have the strengeth and integrity to say no to drugs, to alcohol and violence," Covington said.

Covington said without the club, life probably would have been different. Now, she volunteers at the club.

"I mentor and tutor the kids. I help them with schoolwork, learn how to surf the web, properly use the computer," she said.

"To hear Willisa come in and see kids acting up and say this is not the place for that, to go into class and talk about smart girls or staying away from sex until you're ready means a whole lot when you hear it from Willisa," said Bill Thomas, of the Boys & Girls Club.

"I give back to the community because the community has given a lot to me," Covington said.

Covington also does volunteer work through her school including campus cleanups, tree-planting in the city of Raleigh and working with the Special Olympics. She plans to attend Fayetteville State University in the fall.