For some kids, music and art are the key to success and confidence. Dominique wants to be sure there is a place for them, too.
December 21, 2017
#6DegreesofLVV aims to capture the personal stories of corps members and alumni currently serving in Las Vegas. The person featured in each story connects to the person prior in a number of different ways. Both individually and collectively, these unique stories will show you a new side of Las Vegas education.
I started teaching in 2013 as a prevention specialist (behavior interventionist) at a youth center in downtown Columbus Ohio. I still have a photo of my first group of babies on my desk. It was really an art center for inner city youth, and I taught general music, cooking, and worked with a theater teacher. Now, those original students are graduating from high school and are being scouted by the best schools in the country. I have other students who are recording music professionally. Many of them are making excellent choices with their lives and it’s been amazing to watch them grow up. I knew they would be successful, and it was just a matter of how we--as educators-- could get them to where they needed to be. I’m so proud of them and working with them that first summer made me realize I wanted to work with kids for the rest of my life.
Now I work at Hal Smith Elementary - it’s my placement school. I’ve been here now for three years, and I love it. I believe in our mission and our students. As a specialist, I get to work with kids from kindergarten to 5th grade. It hasn’t been a seamless transition, but it’s been awesome to adjust my teaching style and see these kids grow.
For about the past two years, I’ve known that I want to go into school leadership. I am very passionate about eventually opening my own school focused around performing arts. I’m doing a lot of research and planning those next steps. I’m asking everyone I know with an admin degree how they got there. I hope to provide students - any student willing to put in the work to be a professional music artist - with the skills to be successful.
I have a background of being a professional musician, and I know that I was more prepared than others because of the teachers I had in high school. I had opportunities to perform and it was so helpful. My hope is that as a school leader, I will be to find and hire technically and academically skilled teachers to prepare students to be professional musicians.
The arts are critical because research proves that the arts bring in many skills from traditional academics - problem solving, history, math, etc. The arts help many academically challenged students who do exceptionally well in that area--when it’s the only place they are confident in, that confidence expands into other academic areas.
I hope that we continue to see everyday people taking charge of the community and running for office. There are more instances of local people running for office and getting involved in politics. Students will see more people who look like them in politics, fighting for what’s important to them and their communities. I think this coming generation is going to be more passionate about their rights and more compassionate towards their fellow diverse students. I’m excited to see this generation rise up into adulthood and see where they take our country.
Do you know someone with a great story of collective impact to share? Tell us here: http://bit.ly/2zdLQ7t