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Corps Member Monday: Seeing the great in our students

April 28, 2014

by Di’Liesha Bryant, corps member proudly serving on the Capital Area United Way Team at Belaire High School

My name is Di’Liesha Bryant, I’m 23 years old and I am from Chipley, Florida, however the last four years of my life was spent at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida studying Health Science with a concentration in Occupation and Wellness.DB


I have never been the type person to plan ahead in life. I’ve always played things by ear and I often like to call myself a professional procrastinator. When my senior year of college had begun and I had no idea what I wanted to do. Of course my mom and professors encouraged my attendance to graduate school but I knew deep down that I was not ready for that. A couple months into the semester came and my classmates were preparing grad school applications, taking needed standardized tests, and securing their recommendations while I was just trying to figure out my next move.

So one Thursday afternoon I was walking on campus, headed to take a midterm, I notice a lady in loud red jacket passing out pamphlets. When I walked passed her, she asked me if I had a brief second to talk. I was already running late and didn’t want to talk so I told her no, I was headed to take an exam but she just replied “ok, I will walk with you.” So while walking she briefly introduced me to City Year and encouraged me to look on the website. I told her I would just so she could leave me alone.

A couple hours after my midterm I was in the library waiting on a friend, browsing the internet when I look up and the same lady is standing in front of me. She allows herself to have a seat and asks me how my midterms went. After about 5 minutes she has me pull up the city year website on my computer and immediately I knew it was something I might be interested in. I read on the website, “tutor, mentor, role model” and I was already doing all those things. And I have always had that little interest in education.

So I started my application by just putting my name and contact information and not even two hours later I received a call from City Year baton Rouge admissions manager. I thought to myself, wow City Year works fast! While keeping in contact with City Year baton rouge’s admission manager and doing my own research I completed the application and here I am today.

I am very humbled to be a part of this organization. And each day when I walk into school I know I made the right decision. I am always happy to see my students, however that may not always be the same for them. Like when I sit beside them so they won’t fall asleep or make them get off their phone.

Especially, my starfish, the cool guy himself TJ. In the halls you will notice TJ by his big smile and outgoing personality, but in Algebra 1 class you will see the exact opposite. Tim was was not doing well, in fact he was failing. After forming a relationship with him I knew he was better than this. I promised him that if he put forth the effort, I will also and help him get out of this class. I worked with TJ almost every day for the whole last semester. I can proudly say at midyear, TJ had a B in Algebra 1! Today, he is now souring through Algebra 2, playing varsity basketball while holding a part time job.

City Year corps members helps students recognize their own potential and enthusiasm for learning. Each day we motivate, support and fight for our students like TJ, because we see the great in them even when they don’t.


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