I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Inner city, poverty-stricken area.
My sister and I are first generation in our family to go to college and to get our advanced degrees.
My mother, she would try to find different programs. My seventh grade math and science teachers Ms. Jackson and Ms. Smith, they planted seeds:
“Hey Tina, you would be awesome for this program. Let’s put you in this program.”
It was those programs that saved my life in Atlanta, that saved me: going to those, taking the MARTA, being exposed to the campus life and the culture. Seeing it being visible where you could touch it. You could actually talk to students, you could talk to professors. They took us on STEM field trips. If I didn’t see that, I don’t know where I would be.
If I see an opportunity for a young Black girl, specifically in STEM, I’m going to go research it and bring it back to them.
It’s all about bringing things back to my community. Allowing them to have that visual representation, just to give them a sense of hope and inspiration.
A teacher is the one that is planting those seeds.
We need everyone’s support. Everyone.
It’s a community.
When you see a teacher, it’s really a community.