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For Ahkeem Discussion Guide


For Ahkeem is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, an African American seventeen-year-old girl in an impoverished community in north St. Louis, Missouri. Daje fights for her future as she navigates the trauma of neighborhood violence and the complexities of entering adulthood, all while trying to pursue her dream of graduating from high school.

For Ahkeem touches on a variety of important issues, such as how trauma impacts young people; the influence that adults and other role models can have on teens; the school-to-prison pipeline; and how high school graduation impacts the individual, the community, and the nation.

To help the audience better understand these issues, this document provides guiding questions and further explanations that connect the experiences of Daje, her classmate Antonio, and other young people featured in the film with the realities that historically underserved students face in communities and high schools across the country.