Darius K. Brown has always been concerned about where his community was heading. Born and raised in Marcy Houses in Bedford Stuyvesant, Darius, now 22, always believed that his community was starving for change.

At a young age, he struggled with opportunities due to lack of inspiration and motivation. His first years of high school were rough because he felt that there was no point in excelling academically if it meant he’d return to his community with zero prospects for work and advancement.

He dropped out of high school with the intention of giving up, but was re-invigorated by a school that offered an alternative. At a community-based transfer high school where students had more incentives and voice, Darius believed in his ability to create change in his own community.

Following graduation and a year of looking for work, to no avail, Darius realized that his plight was once again a sign of a bigger problem. Looking for ways to help his peers and community has become a self-occupation.

By joining a program, offered in his community to help NYCHA residents get access to resources such as jobs, education, and healthcare, Darius got the opportunity to enter a contest where he was invited to submit his own program to help better his community. This is why he entered the My Voice, Our City Competition: to make his voice heard.