Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of a Black teenager in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, For Ahkeem is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, a Black 17-year-old girl in North St. Louis. When a fight at school causes her to be expelled, she is placed in a court supervised alternative high school where she is given one final chance to earn a diploma.
Over two years we watch as Daje fights to finish school while navigating the marginalized neighborhoods, biased criminal justice policies and economic devastation that have set up many Black youth like her to fail. As tensions in Ferguson rise, Daje attends the funerals of friends killed around her and struggles to maintain peace with her mother. She finds some light when she falls in love with a classmate named Antonio.
Shortly into their relationship Antonio is drawn into the criminal justice system, first through petty offenses followed eventually by a felony conviction. As events in Ferguson just four miles from her home seize the national spotlight, Daje learns she is pregnant and must contend with the reality of raising a young Black boy in urban America and pushes to make a better life now not just for herself, but for her infant son.
Followed closely over two years of filming, For Ahkeem captures a pivotal moment in US history through the story of a young girl trying to escape the complicated web between juvenile justice, education, and race in America today.