Nova Scotia

'It only matters how we look at ourselves,' says teen behind North Preston success videos

North Preston teen Kardeisha Provo hopes new YouTube videos will instill pride in residents and change the public's image of her community.

Kardeisha Provo has launched a YouTube channel to highlight stories from her community

North Preston teen Kardeisha Provo has created her own YouTube channel to share success stories from her community. (Submitted by Kardeisha Provo)

Kardeisha Provo has a lot of pride in her community of North Preston, N.S., and she wants others to see it.

Provo recently launched her own YouTube channel to highlight some of the success stories coming out of one of Canada's oldest black communities.

"My main focus would probably be to promote and show people that are listening the people in my community," the 17-year-old Cole Harbour District High School student said Friday.

"I'm doing this for the people in my community so that they can see it. If anybody else is watching, that's just an addition. But I'm doing it more so that it creates some pride and some love for ourselves."

Provo is a star basketball player enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at her school. The Grade 11 student is a member of the Baptist Youth Fellowship at Saint Thomas United Baptist Church in North Preston and also works in the afterschool program at the North Preston Community Centre.

She pointed out that the image often portrayed in the media of North Preston as a place of violence is not a true reflection of the entire community.

"North Preston has a huge name in the media and everywhere else but it's not our voices, it's usually somebody else's voice and that isn't accurate all the time," she said. 

'It only matters how we look at ourselves'

She's hoping to change that by using her videos as a new platform so the voices of North Preston residents, especially youth, are heard.

"Most people won't really understand the love that we have and the culture-rich things that are there but I look at it like it's a great place, despite what everyone has to say. It doesn't matter what anyone has to say, it only matters how we look at ourselves."

Provo's first video features an interview with her mother, Karen Provo, speaking about overcoming the challenges of being a teenage mom.

Kardeisha Provo is planning to post a new interview every month. Future interviews will touch on black history, rising athletes from North Preston, finances and how to build your brand and business.

"My channel will be raw thoughts, it will be real people, real life things, it won't just be the typical filtered videos," she said. "Whoever I choose to interview that month, the video will represent them."

Provo plays basketball for Cole Harbour District High School. (Submitted by Kardeisha Provo)

Kardeisha is following in one of her brother's footsteps. 

Nevell Provo is a sophomore at Loyola University in Baltimore who plays men's NCAA Division 1 basketball. 

Once she graduates high school, Kardeisha Provo plans to go to university to study sports medicine.