Create Your Dreams

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Meet Our Dreamers

Since 1994, we are proud that 100% of students who completed CYD graduated high school, 96% of those students began a post-secondary program, 88% of those students are either still enrolled or have earned their degrees, and 40% of the alums who earned their bachelor’s degree, earned their master’s degree!

Tykeria Tisinger

CYD '12, Georgia State University '16, Interview by Ericyonna, CYD 9th grader 1. How do you define success? Success for me is the ability to be completely free in all aspects of life whether it be financially, physically spiritually, and emotionally. 2. How did CYD help you succeed? CYD has helped me by providing me with the necessities I needed to finish college and unconditional love and support. 3. What advice do you have to overcome obstacles? No matter how tough your circumstances, you have to continue to believe that your situation will change for the better. The way you visualize your outcome will become your reality. 4. Where did you go to college and what was your major? I went to Georgia State University and majored in Journalism with a minor in African American Studies. 5. What are your long-term goals? My long-term goals are to become a media mogul and to change the world through healing and unconditional love.

Willie Glaze

CYD '03, Dillard University '07, University of Nebraska '15 Interview by Ajone, CYD 9th grader 1. How did CYD help you? CYD was instrumental in providing the resources that I lacked, coming from an impoverished neighbor, that gave me a fighting chance to become successful. Although, I still had to do the work! 2. What was your favorite thing about CYD? Growing up and being a CYD student throughout elementary, middle, and high school, and having the opportunity to spend time with the same group of people each week, we became family. 3. How do you stay involved as an adult with CYD? After college, I moved back to Atlanta so I would often just stop by the studio because of the relationships we made as adolescents. Ironically, my staying involved as an adult was a catalyst for the success I’m currently experiencing as a adult. 4. What do you do for work? I’m currently a Certified Clinical Perfusionist. I’m a member of the surgical heart team at Emory hospital, operating the heart lung machine during cardiac surgery. 5. Do you like your job? I absolutely love what I do!!

Yasheena Zachary

CYD '12, Georgia State University '16, Interview by Ajone, CYD 9th grader 1. How has CYD helped you? CYD has helped me develop into a well-rounded person, I’ve learned so many things about myself and the world around me. I’ve learned about different cultures, socioeconomic statuses, racial issues, political views, etc. I’ve grown the confidence that is going to carry me a long way! 2. What advice do you have? I advise you to stay true to yourself! Understand that things are constantly changing and you will have to be open to many adjustments. Start setting goals for yourself even though you may change your mind about, it will help to have something to look forward to in the future. I remember in the 2nd grade my teacher would tell us about her years in college. I would tell myself - hmmm I want to go to college one day and become a teacher. That thought always stuck with me from 2nd grade until high school when I started my college application process. Set long term and short terms goals. You can be anything you wish to be. Put in the work. Be kind. Continue to be a beautiful intelligent young lady. 3. What do you consider your major accomplishments? My major accomplishment is getting my college degree. I consider it a major accomplishment because no one in my family has ever graduated from college. I felt like I was in the whole process alone. My family had no idea on how to help me with applications, financial aid, registering for classes, and essays. I had to put in the work and learned about these things on my own. At times I was close to giving up because I felt like it was becoming overwhelming but I persevered and I got through it. I felt like I deserved that degree because I work so hard for it. 4. Why did you want to work at CYD? I wanted to work at CYD because CYD has done some many things for me. It was my goal to go and share with current CYD students the same support that was shared with me. That support really paid off for me and everybody needs support. I want to be that person I needed when I was younger, for our current CYD students.

Lanarion Norwood Jr.

CYD '14, Morehouse University '20, Interview by Zion, CYD 9th grader 1.What is the hardest thing about college? One of the most challenging things about college is managing time, stress, and priorities. Managing time is organizing how you spend your time. Managing stress is monitoring and coping with stress. Lastly, managing priorities is recognizing what you spent your time on. 2. What impact did CYD have on you? It exposed me to different opportunities and drastically change my perspective on life. 3. What advice do you have for how to prepare for college? Find yourself, learn yourself, master yourself, and then love yourself. 4. How do you give back to CYD? I give back with efforts that contribute to the advancement of Create Your Dreams.