ALAMEDA -- Destiney Knuckles, a freshman at Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School, is a quiet and humble person with an amazing voice that has taken her many places, including to Washington, D.C., to meet President Barack Obama.

On Oct. 1, she performed at "An Evening of Soul" at Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland, after being invited to be part of the talent show hosted by the NAACP Youth. Destiney was recommended through her church and by local community leaders to audition for the talent show.

"I'm excited because I've never sang at Yoshi's," she said, during an interview at lunch on the SJND Quad. She was hoping to sing Etta James' classic "At Last" at the Yoshi's performance. Destiney started singing as a child in church, and she said she hopes to start an R&B band one day with friends. She also plays electric bass in the SJND band.

In 2009, Destiney was selected to sing at an event at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where she had the opportunity to meet and shake hands with President Barack Obama. Before that, she sang at a communitywide event for activist Angela Davis. Last year, she performed the national anthem at the 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration in Oakland, "Dream: Let's Make It Real 2012."

-- Mary McInerney



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