David (Alex) Pruitt, Class of 2014

David (Alex) Pruitt (above) began playing the drums at two years old. Self-taught, he continued to learn under the guidance of local musicians and formalized his training when he enrolled at The Soulsville Charter School and Stax Music Academy. He began playing professionally while still in high school, landing gigs in churches and with local bands for live shows and studio sessions.

After graduation, David continued to pursue his passion for music, playing for corporate events and weddings. Despite setbacks and uncertainty, he developed professional discipline and pushed himself relentlessly to achieve his goals.

David just returned from a domestic and international tour with Tai Verdes. Since graduating, he has had the opportunity to play shows all over the United States (recently at Madison Square Garden!), in Amsterdam, and in London. He has upcoming shows in France, Mexico, and Argentina. In the future, David hopes to continue to travel the world, doing what he loves before settling down to get married and raise a family.

Lukendra Riddle, Class of 2020

Lukendra is a second-year dance major at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After earning a 4.0 GPA in the first semester, Lukendra decided to make her dream of traveling to Seoul, Korea a reality. Ms. Riddle studied abroad from June 2020 until August 2020. Lukendra had the opportunity to earn six credit hours and tour the city’s most impressive sites. Here, she is pictured in front of the Gyeongbokgung Palace built in 1395 in Seoul. According to Lukendra, she learned about the dance program at WKU during an after school college visit hosted by CAST.

“I’m just really grateful for what Soulsville did because it helped me a lot. I love WKU – it is perfect for me”.

After graduating from college, Lukendra plans to teach dance and dance professionally in Seoul.

Jasmine Leavy, Class of 2015

Jasmine graduated from Spelman College in 2019 with a major in political science. After graduating, she tapped into her love of writing to complete an internship with a publishing house in Boston, where she helped edit books and choose cover designs.

After her internship, Jasmine returned to Memphis and began an internship with City Leadership and Choose901. This role allowed her to explore the many ways that nonprofits and organizations are working together to highlight the wonderful people and opportunities here in Memphis. Jasmine is passionate about overturning negative mindsets about the city.

Jasmine transitioned from an internship to a full-time position with Choose901 Alumni! She is excited to be able to connect with and build up alumni as they pursue their goals. In the long-term, Jasmine hopes to work in the nonprofit sector to improve education in Memphis.

(Left to right) Nzinga Ajamu, Class of 2017: Nzinga graduated cum laude from Tennessee State University with a degree in supply chain management. Devin Redmon, Class of 2016: Devin graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in business administration. Carmen Jeffries, Class of 2017: Carmen graduated from University of Tennessee, Martin with a degree in biology.
Left to right: Marlena Bradford, Class of 2016: Marlena was just accepted to a teaching residency program for the coming school year. Josh Nichols, Class of 2015: Josh is pursuing his masters degree in fashion merchandising at the University of Memphis. He was just asked to become an adjunct professor in his department. Michael Edwards, Class of 2017: Michael is starting graduate school at Mississippi State this January for a masters degree in aerospace engineering.

All news reported by CAST counselor Staci Johnson.