Welcome back to the POP QUIZ! This is a regular, yet totally unexpected, feature where we ask students, parents, staff, our friends, and partners to answer a few questions about what they are learning, reading, and thinking about. Today we feature Dominique Jackson.
One of ten terrific interns working with CIS, Dominique graduated from Kalamazoo Central in 2012. A Promise Scholar, Dominique went on to Michigan State University and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. “I was the first generation in my family to graduate from a four year university,” she says. She is currently working on her Masters in Social Work at Western Michigan University.
As a social work intern, Dominique works closely with her CIS site team at Linden Grove Middle School. “It’s great learning from [CIS Site Coordinator] Ms. [Tamiko] Garrett and [CIS After School Coordinator] Ms. [Jenee] McDaniel. And the KPS staff is awesome! They’ve all welcomed me and so it’s been a smooth transition coming in as an intern.”
Alright, Ms. Jackson: pencil out, eyes on your own paper. Good luck.
What is something interesting you’ve recently learned?
In some European countries, such as Norway, college is completely free. I didn’t know that.
I have so many, it’s hard to say. Right now, I’d say strength. That’s what I need right now to get through this year, with working at Gilden Woods Early Childcare & Preschool, going to school, and doing my internship.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished Always by Nina Lane. I really liked it.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m still trying to decide, but I’m leaning towards doing social work in schools. Or, possibly, working with juveniles. This would tie in with my degree and I do like the thought of getting juveniles on the right track.
Behind every successful student is a caring adult. Who is your caring adult?
My mom, for sure. She’s the one that’s always been there, motivating me and pushing me to do well.
Thinking back to your years with the Kalamazoo Public Schools, who was one of your favorite teachers?
Mrs. [Ruth] Schafer. She was my fifth grade teacher at Arcadia. She was very engaging, helpful, and pushed us to do better. She was hard on us while still showing her love and support. She was amazing and I loved her.
Also, Mrs. [Elaine] Sayre, my AP [Advanced Placement] Language teacher. I had her my senior year at Kalamazoo Central. Mrs. Sayre helped me think and really prepared me for college and the higher level of work that was expected of me. I have to also definitely say Principal Von Washington. When I was at Kalamazoo Central, he was just an awesome principal. He was always checking up on students to make sure they were doing okay. Oh, and Mr. [Ramon] Baca. He was my principal when I was at Arcadia and he was great too. I loved Mr. Baca.
As you know, Von Washington Jr. is now the Executive Director of Community Relations for The Kalamazoo Promise. What’s it like to be a Promise Scholar who is now giving back within the very school district she graduated from?
It’s definitely awesome to come full circle. I come from a single parent household and I didn’t know college would be possible for me, so getting the opportunity to go to college by the generosity of strangers is an amazing gift.
Right now, my younger brother is at Michigan State. He was eligible to receive 100% of The Promise as well. And I have a much younger brother at Arcadia who will be a Promise Scholar one day.
What do you do as a CIS intern at Linden Grove Middle School?
As a CIS intern, I check in with kids about their grades. I make sure they have everything they need, whether it’s school supplies or personal care items, whatever they are going to need to enhance their school performance. I also make sure they are getting their homework done while still having fun with them as well.
I really love working with Ms. [Tamiko] Garrett and Ms. [Jenee] McDaniel. They’re awesome, engaging, supportive, and not afraid to challenge me, which I love because I love learning!
What is something you are learning when it comes to your internship?
Every kid is different. You have to tailor your approach to their needs as much as you can, make sure they are being recognized individually. One strategy you use for one kid many not work for another, but that’s okay. You find the one that works.
Thank you, Dominique!
Tags: Always, CIS, Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, Dominique Jackson, Elaine Sayre, first generation college student, Gilden Woods Early Childcare Preschool, Jenee McDaniel, Kalamazoo Promise, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Linden Grove Middle School, Michigan State University, Nina Lane, Promise Scholar, Ramon Baca, Ruth Schafer, social work interns in school, Tamiko Garrett, Von Washington Jr., WMU School of Social Work