Faces of Baltimore

Updated 1:46 PM ET, Mon November 30, 2015

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

Baltimore (CNN)The trial for the first of the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray is due to begin Monday in Baltimore. The death of Gray while in police custody sparked some of the most violent protests the city has ever seen.

It's been seven months since Gray's death. We returned to Baltimore to photograph residents as the city works to make sense of the year's events.

Ma'lae Jones

Ma'lae lives in Sandtown-Winchester, the same neighborhood in which Freddie Gray was raised. She is a kindergarten student at New Song Academy. "I want to be a ballet teacher" when I grow up, she said.

Kondwani Fidel

Born and raised in Baltimore, Kondwani Fidel had a tough upbringing and knows what it means to lose loved ones to violence. Fidel is a substitute teacher and spoken word artist. His poems tell stories of a rough upbringing in Baltimore while attempting to inspire change. When using poetry to connect with students, "I used my story as a blueprint for them," said Fidel.

Kevin Davis

As the new police commissioner of Baltimore, Kevin Davis came into his role in the immediate aftermath of the unrest. This is a pivotal point for the city, said Davis. "People who find themselves in the midst of a historic moment don't always realize that they are in the midst of a historic moment," he said, "I realize that's where we are." Davis is starting by establishing relationships with various groups in the community to prevent the type of unrest the city experienced in April and May.

Nancy Neilson

A 44-year veteran of Baltimore schools, Nancy Neilson, principal of New Song Academy, says there is something special about her current school. All of the students come from the immediate neighborhood in west Baltimore. Her students perform better than many of their counterparts, but unfortunately, it is not rare for them to be touched by the prevalent violence in the community. During the unrest earlier this year, "they were frightened because they didn't know what was going to happen," Neilson said.

Niamke Nnamdi

Niamke Nnamdi graduated from high school last year, and he is ready for the next step. "I am joining the Army," he said. After taking entry exams, Niamke qualifies for almost any position in the Army.