Tiana Woolridge '05
Ever since I first arrived at The John Thomas Dye School, it has been more than just a “learnatorium”. It is a place I wake up to every morning looking forward to attending, a place where I feel welcomed, a place like home. After having moved seven times and gone through five schools, John Thomas Dye has definitely become a home to me. Also, when I first came to this school, my mother was going through a very tough divorce. I was always mixed up and confused with what was going on, and sometimes I thought my parents were breaking up because of me. John Thomas Dye was a safe haven for me to escape to on the days when I was feeling sad, confused, and lonely. It also helped me to get past the gnawing pangs of sorrow I sometimes had. On the day I first came to the school, I was whole-heartedly welcomed and immediately guided down a path filled with long-lasting friendships, various adventures, and an education of which most could only dream. All of those aspects make JTD even more like a home.
Making friends isn’t the easiest thing to do in a big school. John Thomas Dye is a small enough school so that we have the opportunity to talk to and know each other as much as we choose. At least three girls welcomed me and asked if I wanted to sit with them at assembly on my very first day at JTD. From that time on, I have become friends with everyone in my grade, some closer than others, but we are all like siblings and an important part of the big, loving, John Thomas Dye family.
Not only is the John Thomas Dye family filled with friends, it is also filled with many different adventures, such as community service. Simply making a lunch may seem like a barrel of fun to a seven-year-old, but knowing the recipient of that lunch may not have had a meal in days turns the whole activity into extending a helping hand. The John Thomas Dye family is always trying to help others, just like a real, caring family would. This year, while visiting Westwood Horizons, I found that just singing a song or playing my clarinet to people who may not have anyone to entertain them, might be able to change their whole day.
The education I have received from The John Thomas Dye School and its amazing teachers has been extraordinary. Not only is the knowledge great, everybody is willing to help out if someone hasn’t completely grasped a concept. Most children around the world, especially minorities, could scarcely dream of having an educational experience like the one I have acquired. Besides that, the expectations of minorities are not very high. JTD has helped me brush aside that stereotype as I continuously stride towards reaching my full potential.
Even though my skin is dark, I have never felt I have been treated differently than anyone else in the grade, which is also very important in a family. I have always felt like I belong right here. After all, John Thomas Dye is my home away from home.
What the John Thomas Dye School really means to me, deep in my heart, is a home. One of the many aspects I will always remember John Thomas Dye by is, “Every yesterday is a dream, and every tomorrow is a vision. But today, well-lived, makes every yesterday, a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow, a vision of hope.” Thank you, John Thomas Dye, for the vision and the dream.