Detroit Produces Young Black Woman Champion Tree Climber (Video)

Starlet Lee, 22, escapes poverty and misery to become champion tree climber.

The city of Detroit gets a bad rap that seems to get worse every minute.  But, there’s yet another bright light gleaming through the problems of the city.  No one would’ve thought a young black girl would be interested in trimming trees for a living, but there’s one that has not only decided to trim trees, but competitively climb them.  This past weekend, she represented Michigan in an international tree climbing competition in Australia for the first time.

According to the Detroit News, Starlet Lee is one of seven siblings that have had to fend for themselves for nearly 10 years.  With their father estranged from the family with drugs and losing their Mom to cancer when Starlet was only 13, she’s had to fend for her and her brothers and sisters at a very young age.  Their mother, Tancie Lee, knew she was dying of cancer and taught her children how to “pay bills and  fend for themselves” before she died. 

Lee has taken care of her younger siblings while going to work trimming trees and doing removal, pursuing tree climbing on a competitive basis, and performing in a band that will hopefully reconnect her with her Dad.  She leaves the homeless life and all other signs of despair behind and pushes forward.  Please check out her story.

-J.C. Brooks