I Am A Success: LaDazja

Posted by on May 31, 2019 in blog, success story | Comments Off on I Am A Success: LaDazja

Like many 6th grade students who join Partnership 4 Kids, LaDazja heard “field trips” and signed up. What 6th grade Dazja may not have realized yet is that she was signing up, not just for field trips, but a support system for the rest of her years in school and beyond.

Today, Dazja is a full-time undergraduate student at Bellevue University with a 4.0 GPA and a P4K scholarship. She is studying for her bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences and is set to graduate in spring 2020. On top of this, she works full-time at Partnership 4 Kids as an AmeriCorps Service Member.

“It’s come full circle,” Dazja said. “It’s only right to give back to the program that gave so much to me, and it’s been wonderful experience for me.”

Dazja works with 11th and 12th grade students across the five OPS high schools P4K serves. Starting out, she worried the students wouldn’t like her, or listen to her when she’s only a few years older than them. Now, she’s getting invited to their high school graduations and parties and has developed trusting relationships with the students she serves.

“Knowing you’ve made an impact is awesome,” Dazja said. “It’s really rewarding especially knowing that kids at that age can be more guarded, so when you gain their trust you know you’re doing something right.”

When Dazja was a P4K student, she was matched with a mentor in 9th grade who became a long-lasting friend.

“Having a mentor made me want to stick around with P4K,” Dazja said. “In 9th grade you see a divide of kids that were going to stay with program and kids that would probably drop out. My mentor was the icing on the cake that made me want to stay in P4K.”

Dazja’s mentor was “very sweet, gentle, kind, and truly cared,” which she said was a great support through high school and learning to navigate college as a first-generation student.

After adjusting to the transition to college and transferring schools to find the right fit, Dazja graduated from Metro Community College with an associate degree in human services in 2018.

“P4K was important for me being a first-generation college student,” Dazja said. “It was another support system that I knew would have resources to help me achieve my goals. P4K has an abundance of resources you need to help set you up for success as long as you are willing to apply yourself.”

In her free time, Dazja loves true crime books and crime documentaries. She enjoys shopping, being outdoors, and most importantly, spending time with her family and close friends.

“It’s the small things in life that make everything worth it,” LaDazja said.