Living in poverty is something impossible to fully comprehend if you have not experienced it yourself. Extreme hardships for a student mount and it becomes a struggle just to cope. Treading water becomes hard to manage when you can barely hold your head above water.
Last year Stacey Weinstein, Myers Park’s Communities In Schools Site coordinator, worked with Tiana, a senior.Her family struggled to manage the bills and obtain basic necessities, and Tiana was a victim of bullying. Yet Tiana never complained, and somehow she had an astonishing ability to cope under the multiple crisis situations she had faced her whole life.
Tiana beat all odds as she forced herself to put academics first. She refused to accept her daily reality and she took advantage of every opportunity put before her from her teachers, mentor and Communities In Schools. She worked hard at everything she did and found ways to get herself where she needed to be, including her SAT testing location.
This young lady took all that was stacked against her and spoke of her experiences as a testimony to every student she met who had an excuse to not give their best. Once she walked up to a podium in an auditorium filled with people who were already judging her by appearance alone, rather than content. She spoke from her heart in hopes of vying for scholarship dollars that could help her pay for a dream she has wanted her whole life. When the prize was awarded to another person she did not throw in the towel, but rather looked for other options in achieving her goal.
Today Tiana is finishing her first semester North Carolina A&T, where she studies early childhood education. The MPHS Foundation provided a new laptop for her studies. She remains committed to being all she can be, and she credits the Communities In Schools program with assisting her along the way.