Story from a Delta GEM
My name is Shayla. I am fourteen years old and I am a ninth grader at a high school in Ohio. I am the only child to a single mother. My life story would be one of teamwork and service. My participation in basketball, track and soccer has instilled in me the values of discipline, never giving up, and cooperation. My participation on the field also reflects my values off the field. My involvement in various groups like Girls Scouts, Bridges and Delta Gems have contributed to my understanding of the value of service to others and giving back to my community. The programs have provided me with valuable skills for college success, knowledge on how to achieve my goals and being an African American woman. My life of service and teamwork has led me wanting to have a career in the medical field working with elderly and disabled patients.
The powerful experience that has affected my life the most was when I went to Washington DC with my Delta GEM Sisters June 22-24, 2011. This trip allowed for several cultural, historical and educational stops and tours including the office of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Smithsonian African Art Museum, Howard University and the White House Visitor’s Center. This trip became even more powerful when we went to have a sneak preview of the new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. As I walked through the pathway of cherry blossoms, I felt the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My eyes stated to tear up as I saw his statue. I felt as if I was making his dream come true by focusing on my education, living a violent free lifestyle, focusing on my future and never giving up on my dreams. This whole experience has made me realize that I can achieve any dream that I have. I never realized how strong of an impact the memorial would have on me as an African American, but the impact it will have on everyone who hopes for freedom and equality.