Parent Tiwana Adams – Why I Commit to Student U

Why I Commit
By Tiwana Adams, Student U Parent

At the beginning of each staff meeting, a member of the Student U community presents the “why” as a reminder to our team of why we do the work we do. The following is adapted from Ms. Adams’ presentation of the “why” at our full-time staff retreat this week.

As I lay in bed last night considering what to share with you today, I became overwhelmed because there are so many reasons why I believe in Student U and why I know the work we do matters. I jotted down seven words that best represent why I love Student U:

Vision: Student U has a vision. Who we are today is wonderful but I know there is a future ahead of us that is even greater than we can imagine. This vision of realizing a fearless dream keeps me coming back just so I can be here to see what this community becomes.

Focus: Student U has an end goal for all students – college graduation. Student U stays focused on this goal for each students and serves as our GPS, guiding us to this final destination. With so many potential distractions, it is so important that Student U has this clear focus.

Discipline: Student U holds students, and really all of us, accountable for being our best selves. There are times when we might slip or make a mistake, but Student U pushes us to realize the best version of ourselves each and every day.

Results: Student U maximizes on the gifts and talents inside of each of us. Student U knows that all students are brilliant and somehow finds a way to enable the inner brilliance of all to shine.

Relationships: Student U forms genuine and lasting relationships. Ms. Bettina was Frankie’s teacher his first year at Student U and Ms. Ashley was Frankie’s Grade Head. Frankie is going to be a senior in high school and both Bettina and Ashley are still a part of Frankie’s life and a part of this community. These relationships are unique and priceless. The consistency of these connections allows Student U to pour love into students and families alike.

Passion: The energy and joy Student U staff brings to work every day in not rehearsed. This is a natural passion. This is an authentic passion. This is a passion that really has the ability to change lives.

And with these seven words come images of the people. The people are what make this place so special. Every time I hear Ms. Z give a speech I am just in awe. She has a way of stringing words together, of creating a song that is filled with so much meaning. And then there is Ms. Bettina. Ms. Bettina is so soft and kind, and also so strong and firm. What a perfect combination.

Why am I here? Why do I commit? I commit because imagine what Student U graduates will do when they sit in this room as Student U employees. Imagine what Student U graduates will do when they are teachers and administrators in the Durham Public Schools.

Student U maximizes the potential of all of the collective brilliance we possess. I am here because of who we are today and because of what will happen as that brilliance shines brighter. I am here because I believe that we, that this community, can truly make dreams come true.


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