Akeelah Anderson is an eleven-year-old African-American female. Akeelah is single, lives in a suburban, predominantly African-American community in South Central Los Angeles, and attends Crenshaw Middle School. She is from single-parent family with young adolescents and a limited income. Akeelah is a very brilliant girl who is the winner of the major event in the US, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Akeelah comes from an impoverished background but overcomes the circumstance in her life by demonstrating her knowledge and skills. Developmental history:
Middle school age overlaps with early adolescence. Peer relations’ positive, academic performance is brilliant but unpredictable; promising career choice; strong goal oriented. Presenting Problem:
Akeelah is dealing with grief and loss, often disagrees with her mother and has issues at school. Akeelah’s father, Mr. Anderson, was deceased when she was six years old. Akeelah does not get any emotional support from her mother through the grieving process, because her mother is overwhelmed with her full-time job as a nurse. Akeelah is faced with two overarching difficulties pertaining to her family. She is left to not only deal with with her father's recent death but to also deal with a mother who is mourning the death of her husband, while at the same time worrying about the direction and path her son, Terence is on. History of Current Problem:
Akeelah has been coping with the loss of her father since she was six years old. Akeelah misses her father greatly and is dealing with his death by withdrawing and isolating herself at home. Ever since Akeelah started entering the spelling bee contests, she illustrated an obvious separation from her mother, which has served a source of tension between mother and daughter. This tension is illustrated by Akeelah’s attempting to move on the next stage of her life while her mother holds her back. Akeelah is also dealing with issues at her school. Akeelah is shy and often embarrassed about being the smartest kid in class. She is worried because she does not want her less competent peers to think of her as a "braniac," something other kids at school already label her and ridicule her . Akeelah can also be seen in terms of her age, stage, and her separation from parental structures. Early adolescence can be a hard time change during an individual’s life and thus self-esteem and self-image play an important role in how positive, confident, and successful an individual ultimately becomes as an adult. Family History:
Akeelah is from an African-American single parent family home. She lives with her single, hardworking mother, Tanya, who has left on her own after the death of her husband, her older sister, Kiana, a single mother, an older brother, Terence, who is, under the influence of gangs, and Devon, who is in the Air Force in order to obtain a college education. Akeelah’s father was shot and killed in the neighborhood when she was six. Her mother has many challenges, for example: works long hours, has a hospital job to stress over, a dead husband to mourn, a soldier son to worry about, a granddaughter to be concerned about, and a teenage son under the influence of gangs. They reside in a predominantly black community, which is marked by incomes that fall between the ranges of the low to the middle sector. Social History:
Akeelah attends an extremely poor school in South Central Los Angeles, which lacks facilities and has very limited resources. She is trying to fit-in with her classmates by speaking in the prevalent slang that surrounds her and by hiding her natural intelligence and curiosity to avoid harassment from her peers. Her inner-voice tells her that she always feels like she does not fit in, since Akeelah is too smart for her surroundings. She skips most of her classes and has poor attendance. Although she skips most of her classes, she is still getting A’s in her spelling tests...