Ke’Voughn Manning defies stereotypes. How you ask: the Florida A&M senior is a single father.
“I try to spend most of my life and my activities around [my daughter],” Manning said. “She pretty much goes everywhere I go. She’s my life and I love her.”
A fourth-year criminal justice major from Pensacola, Manning transferred to FAMU on a track and field scholarship in 2018. He was recruited out of high school to run track at Allen County Community College in Kansas. He then received a scholarship for track at FAMU.
He chose FAMU mainly because he had learned he was about to be a father. The mother of his daughter, Ne’veah Hollins, was living in Arkansas.
Manning became his daughter’s sole caregiver when she was 4 months old. Manning became Ne’veah’s primary caretaker after her mother, who was also a track athlete, enrolled in a university in Arkansas. ,
Ne’veah has been living with Manning in Tallahassee ever since. This was his biggest blessing, he said. “I am like honored,” Manning said. “When her mother first told me that she wanted me to get her, it was a dream come true.”
Manning had missed the first four months of Ne’Veah’s life because her mother was living out of state attending another college. Manning was already enrolled at FAMU. He was scheduled to hold Ne’Veah in his care for only his third semester at FAMU, but the 3-year old has been living with her father ever since.
He’s set to graduate in April.
Manning has said that raising a daughter while being a student has its ups and downs, but the more he shares his life with professors, the more they understand the young father’s situation. There are days when Manning may have to bring Ne’veah into his exam rooms because he needs to hold her, or nights where he’s studying in the library, and he may be simultaneously rocking his daughter to sleep.
He showcases his super-dad skills while balancing his academics.
Manning has met many loyal people around him who are able to assist him with the caretaking of Ne’Veah if he’s in need. There are a few trusted women on campus who Ne’Veah already knows well and one who’s an aunt figure in her life. They call her “Little Miss FAMU,” as she is also enrolled in FAMU Child Development Center. Both father and daughter are Rattlers.
Quya Thomas, a junior nursing major, knew Manning when he first started at FAMU. She has always been a figure in young Ne’Veah’s life and is proud of how far along they’ve both come.
“As a young African-American father, it is rare for them to take the full-time responsibilities, so I am shocked and proud. So any help that he needs, anybody is willing to give him,” Thomas said.
Destiny Thornhill, a freshman English major, is one of Manning’s good friends. She helps with Ne’Veah as much as she can, and is also proud of how Manning is handling raising a daughter while enrolled in college.
“Ke’Voughn is one of the most down-to-earth and just real people I know,” Thornhill said. “He always goes hard for the people that he cares about, and when it comes to Ne’Veah, he always puts her first in everything he does.”
Manning spends his free time with his daughter, but when he gets time for himself, he enjoys track, skating, listening to music, and just taking time to remember who Ke’Voughn is. Being a single father isn’t easy, but Manning has been going hard and doing the best that he can.
Manning provides for Ne’Veah through financial aid, but once he graduates, he and Ne’Veah will be leaving Tallahassee.
Manning wants to start working within his major in the city of his choice.