NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — One local woman has returned to downtown Newport News to serve the community.

The building that sits near 24th and Chestnut is empty, but it once was the Friendship House. The Friendship House was a safe haven for children and those in need. For Lakeisha Brooks-Tyson, she grew up going to the community center with her sisters and friends.

 “My dream, my vision for Enduring Keys is to have this building. To have that building is to have the whole block,” Lakeisha Brooks-Tyson, Founder of Enduring Keys.  

Brooks-Tyson created Enduring Keys to give the youth of Newport News what they need to be successful. The group was founded during the pandemic. They’ve provided baskets and gifts during the holidays for those in need. Now they work with 25 students from Booker T. Washington Middle School.

I honestly believe with a mentor you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. A mentor opens opportunities for you,” said Brooks-Tyson. Brooks-Tyson says mentors like Lisa Rodgers had a major influence on her, changing the course of her life, and helping her make it to college. 

“She is amazing,” said Lisa Rodgers, Mentor “I love her tenacity. Life is life, and it brings you struggles but her perseverance has blown my mind. I’m proud.”

During the filming of the story, Brooks-Tyson shared her organization experienced a theft. A grant check was stolen and cashed. This was money that was designated for their holiday activities. If you’d like to donate to the group you can contact Enduring Keys at (757) 231-5852 or email

To learn more about Enduring Keys, click here.