Detroit Woman’s Giant Impact uses Life Lessons as a Resource for her Community

Nealmetria stands just under five feet-tall, but serves as a giant resource to the Motor City, reaching countless mothers and families in her Detroit Community. 

The hardworking advocate and single mother of nine creates unforgettable impressions rooted in lived experiences, vulnerability and passion for improving the metropolitan city affectionately referred to as “the D.” Many of her children are adults, but her four youngest—all girls—live with her currently. Together, they’ve experienced the excitement of prom season and the pride of making the honor roll.

“My daughters, they're all honor students. I've tried to instill in them self love, and you don't doubt yourself, and believe in your capabilities.”

Nealmetria insists on being for others, the woman she needed at younger stages of her own journey. Nowadays, the former nursing assistant hopes her lived experiences help her children and other women navigate their own lives. 

“I [am] 13 years clean and sober. I was in an abusive relationship. [I was] being abused as a child… I was pregnant and I dropped out of high school in the beginning of the 10th grade. I've made it through those barriers,” she explained. 

Nicknamed “Angel,” she often reflects on how the difficult experiences shaped her to find strength and become a resource to help others endure. 

“People who were there for me and helped instill in me that I was worth something and that I could fulfill all my dreams for myself and my children. I just want to be that even for just one mom, to feel like, you know what? You've got this. You can do this. You are worth it, and I'm going to help you through it.”

Community is practically part of Nealmetria daily uniform. She has organized a back-to-school drive where hundreds of families in her neighborhood secured school supplies. She’s taught moms in Detroit places to look for free personal hygiene products, food and other necessities. And she doesn’t stop moving—the next goal for Nealmetria is to excel with her own outreach called An Angel is Here so that she can widen her impact.

Once word of mouth put UpTogether on Nealmetria’s radar, she quickly became a member and formed her own group of six women driven to set goals, achieve those goals, hold each other accountable, and share resources. 

“My group was called My Sisters' Army, because we're powerful, we're strong, we're diligent, we're vigilant. Nobody would determine the meeting. We were all intentional in giving each one of us a chance to say what it is that we wanted for the group,” she said while revealing the clever intent in the group name with “army” and “are me” as references to the six ladies fighting for one another and being connected as one by their similar circumstances.

Nealmetria passion for community continued within UpTogether as she became one of a select few UpTogether Builders where she and two dozen other members across the country provided feedback and recommendations on the future of UpTogether’s efforts. She speaks with funders and immerserses herself in helping to grow the community for fellow members. She’s received certification, training and more that makes her stand tall in circles with people who typically stand on college degrees and high priced tuitions.

“I sit at the table with folks who have their letters behind their names and everything. And I place myself in those spaces so I can soak up all the knowledge, to be able to use that knowledge in my community.” 

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