While many teenagers play the trumpet in band, few can say they know how to play native African drums like M’lik Mims.
As a member of an after-school African Drum Club, M’lik played the dundun and djembe from fifth to eighth grade. He also had the opportunity to perform with the club at a Yale University commencement ceremony.
“I liked the drum club because if I was angry one day, I could just go play my music and my anger would disappear,” M’lik said. “It was like magic.”
M’lik, 15, lives in New Haven. He will enter tenth grade at Amistad High School this fall.
M’lik has been on the honor roll three semesters in a row. He hopes to continue this success and attend college, ideally the University of Connecticut.
“The main reason I want to go to college is because I want my mother to remember me for something good and positive,” M’lik said.
M’lik aspires to double major in game design and engineering. He first got interested in the field when he was playing a video game and discovered a glitch.
“I think it’s a good job for me because I like to play games and it offers good money,” he said.
In his free time, M’lik enjoys break dancing. This hobby originated in a talent show in first grade when M’lik and four other friends got on stage and started dancing. M’lik has loved break dancing ever since.
M’lik currently stays with his mother, Martena Mims, who is a nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital. He also lives with three brothers: Tijun Mims, 18, Demandre Myeres, 15, and Theron Myeres, 10.
M’lik recently travelled to Arizona for a family reunion. From July 2 to 8, he spent time with more than 30 family members at the Arizona Grand Resort Oasis Water Park.
This trip marked M’lik’s first time on an airplane, which he described as scary. It was also the farthest he ever travelled.
The trip was memorable because family is very important to M’lik. As he put it, “Family matters.”
Aneri Pattani is a 2013 graduate of Cheshire High School. She will attend Northeastern University in the fall.