Mister Knight's Neighborhood

A football coach is determined to help students growing up in one of Detroit's toughest neighborhoods stay in school and graduate from high school.

Jimmie Knight is a coach, a community leader and a Dean of Culture at Cody high school on Detroit's west side.
Photo by Andrea Claire Maio, Michigan Radio

Cody High School is located on Detroit’s west side, a neighborhood that struggles with poverty, drugs and gangs. The school’s reputation is as a “drop-out factory.” Despite the odds, coach Jimmie Knight, who himself grew up in the area, remains steadfast in his efforts to help local kids stay in school and graduate.

In the process of telling the story of this remarkable man, Jennifer Guerra takes listeners inside this struggling neighborhood, allowing the youth to tell the stories of their lives. We hear about their problems and challenges, but also their deepest hopes and dreams for a better life.

This story aired on Michigan Radio on April 30, 2015.

Story Link

Listen to the radio documentary “Mr. Knight’s Neighborhood” on Michigan Radio.

Jennifer Guerra is a reporter for Michigan Radio’s State of Opportunity, a multiyear reporting and community engagement project focused on how poverty affects the state’s children. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was a lead reporter for the award-winning education series “Rebuilding Detroit Schools.” Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Guerra was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx. She has won numerous regional and national awards for her journalistic work.