Zanovia McKinley | Age: 19

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Currently attending: Carroll University
Involved with Unity in Motion since: 2002

Spend just a few minutes with Zanovia McKinley and you get the sense that her life has always been pointed in the right direction. All she needed was a little boost.

It all started around age 7, when she already knew she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a nurse. Soon after, her ambitions further evolved: she wanted to become a doctor. Today, her goals are even higher and more defined: Zanovia is going to be a pediatric oncologist and join the fight against cancer.

Zanovia was introduced to Unity in Motion through her mother, who was working as a nurse at The Family House, a local retirement community. When Unity in Motion started holding some of its sessions in the basement there, Zanovia decided to check it out.

The importance of education and the need for academic discipline were hardly new concepts to her, but the way it was all emphasized in those first meetings was an eye-opener.

“You could tell they were serious right away, and I liked that,” says Zanovia.

Ten years later, Zanovia remains an active member with Unity in Motion and she credits the organization with giving her much of the added drive and guidance needed to pursue her lofty dreams.

“I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but didn’t really know what it would take to get there. Unity in Motion helped me realize I could actually do it. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I could do it.”

Now her sights are set firmly on graduating from University School of Milwaukee and attending either Xavier University of Louisiana or the University of Wisconsin – Madison. From there, medical school and then, well, there’s still plenty of time to figure that out.

But she won’t forget her roots. “I want to help make Unity in Motion bigger, because without Unity in Motion I wouldn’t be me.”