DaCipher 360°

DaCipher 360°

By Marilyn Miller, M.Ed. Executive Director Da’Cipher 360°

 

 

 

DaCipher 360° is focused on the youth because they are the future of our community and our world. Mentoring is an important element in the development of our future. This article by Dwayne Lee expresses his experience with being mentored in his youth.Because the World Told Me I Could Not Have ItBy Dwayne Lee I can still remember the halls of my high school on the day that I was told, by my principal, I would graduate from High School. For those who been blessed, all their lives, with academic accomplishments may be surprised that a student would need to go to the principal’s office to make sure that they would graduate, others may remember sitting in the offices of the School Administration having the same conversations. The principal reminded me that I had the school record for 1-hour detentions and my GPA was under 2.0, yet I would still be able to receive my diploma. I remember how the principal looked at me that day, as a lost cause; a person that would end up working at a gas station for the rest of their lives. The principal saw me as another statistic attributed to many of the African Americans that I had grown up with in my neighborhood. I was not a violent person, just lazy in the eyes of those who claimed to commit their lives to the formation of the children entrusted to them. {{more}} It was not the first time someone thought little of me; I am an African American who grew up in one of the urban neighborhoods of Long Beach, California. My peers in Middle and High School would graduate from the public schools and participate in the environment of gangs and drugs that were prevalent in my Dwayne Leecommunity. My dyslexia would hinder teachers from taking the time to help me grasp the information and allowed me to get by, so that they did not have to put up with me for another year. How did I escape the violent atmosphere of my youth? How did I let go of the rage deep inside of being from constantly prepared to fight my enemies who “made their bones” by bullying me? It has been 14 years since the meeting with my principal, since then I have earned a degree at an accredited university and now I am striving for 2 masters, so one might say how can a person go from a delinquent to a graduate student? I found most of my inspiration from people, in my life telling me that it was impossible to move beyond my stature. Because the history of doubt placed on me by the cynical people that have crossed my path, I feel compelled to give a message to those whose background relates to mine. I also feel inspired to say something to those in the education field who have lost the ability to inspire those around them. For those who can relate to my narrative, I encourage you to listen to the negativity of those in power, listen to them! I say this as a declaration, not to fall in the incarceration inadequacy and stereotypes the world has placed on you, but to transform the fighting spirit born out of the atmosphere of violent altercations into a vessel of transformation. If someone tells you that, “you can only be this” or “you can only do that” use the energy that was once focused on attacking your enemy to energy to pursue goals that society has only claimed for the elite. To the principals, teachers, and key masters of society, I give you this message. If there is a person in your class who is without any redeeming quality, please do not forsake them so easily. Force yourself to sit down with this bad seed, and find the courage to listen to their narratives, allow your heart to be broken and help such pre-criminals to change their narratives for the better. Ninety percent of the time, your assumption of the hopelessness of this individual may be correct however if you have the fortune to meet that 10 percent, who have the undeveloped potential to go to college take a chance to help them reach that potential. There are those, from low-moderate income neighborhood, who will listen to the world and their destiny will be to join gangs, sell drugs and lay around the community. There are the lucky few who can change the world if they were only given a chance. They shout to the world that spurns them, “I will become what you say that I cannot be.” Key masters will be shocked by their passion and their drive and ask, “Why do you continue on?” Why have you not given up?” Why do you strive for something that is beyond your stature?” Boldly stand up and proclaim, “Because you told me I could not have it.”If you are interested in being a mentor and changing lives, please call 325-338-3729.