Photo and story by Dyahda Nolan

On the first Tuesday of January 2012, Inajas Perry and her little brother were relaxing from a long busy Christmas season. While her mom and dad went back to their workday routines, Perry was left to watch her younger brother Jordan.

“Its burning!” her little brother screamed.

Perry got up in fear and saw large flames on the roof of her mother’s remodeled kitchen. “Call mom,” Jordan screamed. As Perry’s parents pulled up to the house, from leaving their jobs early to rush home as they saw firefighters trying to put out a fire. Perry’s mother was emotionally hurt, with her hand over her mouth, she looked at what she had worked so hard to build as it burned down.

“I lost everything,” Perrys says about the fire. “To see everything we had gone, hurt me to the point where I started taking my life serious,” she says.

Perry, who has been in Jackson her whole life, says family means “being there for each when we really need it.”

The staff and students at Callaway High School donated to the Perry family to show them there was still hope.

Because of Perry’s family struggles, Perry now strives harder in school. She wants to show her mother “the devil would not get in my way of what I want be in life,” she says. When Perry graduates high school, she hopes to attend the University of Mississippi and study law.