Davon Fleming exudes confidence and personality every time he performs on The Voice as a top eight contestant on Jennifer Hudson’s team, but he wasn’t always so self-assured. The Baltimore native admits he didn’t feel so empowered when he was younger. However, after getting involved in the after school program Partners in Progress, which is now called Youth and Ambassadors, and making it onto the Emmy award winning singing competition, everything changed.
“There’s a youth program that I started out with called Partners in Progress for troubled teens and younger kids—basically the kids that nobody wants whether they were abused, molested or kicked out of school. I’ve been with the youth program since I was in the 9th grade.”
The Voice hopeful added, “I was living in the projects wanting to be a singer. I was considered taboo because I wasn’t out there selling drugs. A lot of times I was cool with these people, but I didn’t relate on that level, so I wanted to find people that were more like me or people that are hurting like me so we can all heal together.”
Fleming, refreshingly revealing, explained how the program specifically enhanced his life.
“It helped me feel accepted because I was among people who did what I did and loved what I loved to do. They understood that it’s okay to be different; it’s okay to be peculiar. You don’t have to be captain of the football team. I can be a geek. I can be in the thespian society and still be active and still make a change in my community. It’s a group of all ages from 12 to 18 taking a stand to be better and be something in life. I don’t have to be what they said I was going to be. I might have been kicked out or abused or raped, but I’m not going to let this one situation deter me of what my goals and dreams are,” he told The Voluntourist.
Now 26-years-old, Fleming is still involved with the organization and dedicates his time to Youth and Ambassadors.
“I started off being part of the program and then later on after I graduated I was a counselor for them. Most of these kids don’t have hope. When they leave those four walls they’re going back home to abuse. My thing is you never know what kids or anyone is going through when they have to go back home. I understand that by being a part of it and understanding that, it made me want to help them more,” he stated.
So he gives back every chance he gets by teaching kids what he knows best–music.
“A lot of times you can’t reach kids through academics, but sometimes if they have a passion for music or dance I can pull that out of you and let you know that you’ve succeeded in this particular thing. If you want to do music, dance, or whatever, you have to get an education, but first you’ve got to take your butt to school,” he said. .
While he’s been working hard showcasing his amazing talents on the The Voice, he’s also been working hard on himself.
“Before the show I was terrified of living. I was letting doubt and fear stop me from everything I wanted to do. But with this competition and this journey, I’ve learned to accept myself and say, ‘hey I deserve this.’ After the show I want to still continue to do music and give back to my community. I’m still going do the youth outreach program. Because I come from a rougher neighborhood I want to show others you don’t have to be a product of your environment. I literally live where the Freddie Gray riot was. I lived on that block and I saw everything and I’m still at this point. I’m not dead. So it’s possible for you too.”