'I was going down the wrong path': North City teen featured in d - KMOV.com

'I was going down the wrong path': North City teen featured in documentary wants to help others

Posted: Updated:
Daje Shelton's life is followed in a documentary titled 'For Ahkeem' (Credit: Documentary) Daje Shelton's life is followed in a documentary titled 'For Ahkeem' (Credit: Documentary)
(Credit: 'For Ahkeem' documentary) (Credit: 'For Ahkeem' documentary)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The untold story of a teenage girl living in North City is on display for the world to see.

The documentary “For Ahkeem” follows the life and struggles of Daje Shelton for three years. Growing up on in North City, Shelton said she felt the odds were stacked against her. The film trails then 17-year-old Shelton being a mother to her son, Ahkeem.

“This is for [Ahkeem]. For when you grow up and you get older,” said Shelton.

“For Ahkeem” displays Shelton’s struggles, getting through high school and the slight difference of race, class and gender.

“I came from nothing… now I’m on the TV screen everywhere in the world,” said Shelton.

Featured in the film is Judge Jimmie Edwards. Edwards was recently appointed to be the director of public safety for St. Louis City. Edwards opened a school, Innovative Concept Academy, for juvenile delinquents.

The school is in North City and was Shelton’s last option for getting a high school diploma.

“It’s kids like me that can be turned around,” said Shelton. “I wasn’t always who I am now. I was going down the wrong path. I’ve been shot twice and I’m only 20 years old.”

Shelton said after the film was finished, she watched and realized she was a product of a hard upbringing. She admits it was filled with poverty and street violence.

Watching changed her life, now she hopes those watching across the world will get inspired.

“I feel like I got the power to change a lot of people’s lives,” said Shelton.

She said she would like to open a nonprofit in North City to help young teenage girls when nobody else does. Shelton, who has Ahkeem and a daughter, plans on starting college next semester.

The film already received high praise in Korea, Germany, Austria, and Brazil.

The New York Times and the Huffington Post gave the documentary high accolades.

Filmmakers tell News4 the hope the film serves as an educational tool for people to see others beyond their status.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

Watch News 4 Now

Mouse over player for controls · LAUNCH FULL PLAYER

Powered by Frankly