When I was at Audubon back in ’95 I started to think about what high school I would attend. My home school was Dorsey, a school that I KNEW was NOT for me. Hamilton High was my first option. I had heard that they had the best music academy and at the time I didn’t think there was such a thing as life outside of the performing arts. I mistakenly wrote down the number for Hollywood Performing Arts Magnet on my Choices application and was accepted there. The problem was that there was NO part of me that wanted to attend Hollywood High. I had never even heard of Hollywood High before 1995.
I was devastated.
I begged my mother not to make me go to Dorsey. Although my sister had gone there 10 years earlier I didn’t want to. I didn’t think it was a safe place. After all, it was too close to the notorious Jungles (as seen in Training Day). Dorsey just didn’t match the image I wanted for myself. I pleaded with my mom to let me go to Crenshaw instead. She said no. She knew people at Dorsey and was confident that it would be a great place for me.
I cried and cried…
And then I cried some more.
4 years later I graduated from Dorsey (D-House) with honors, thousands of dollars in scholarships, great friends to last a life-time, and experiences that I couldn’t have had anywhere else. It ended up being one of the most nurturing places with a staff who genuinely cared about the students’ success. The stats may not have been the best, but it was the perfect school for me. I was encouraged to pursue my dreams, to think creatively, and to demand success.
Looking back I see that God’s hand was all over my high school “mishap” turned blessing. Why hadn’t I checked (and re-checked) the numbers I wrote down on my Choices application? Why was my mom so opposed to me attending Crenshaw High? Why was Hollywood High so unappealing to me?
It all happened the way it did because it was in God’s divine plan for me to attend D-House! It was meant for me to be a Don. It was meant for me to be the Co-Captain of Pep Squad in 10th Grade, the school Mascot in the 11th Grade, and a Cheerleader my senior year. It was meant for me to be a member of Young Black Scholars, Knights and Ladies, Junior Statesmen of America, Choir, and Play Production. It was meant for me to participate in the Career Awareness Program and the Fox STAR Mentor program. It was meant for me to meet every student, teacher, mentor, and administrator that I met. It was meant for me to be in an environment that inspired and motivated me to soar. I am who I am today for many reasons, but one of them is because I was first a Don. And I wouldn’t change a thing.