California educator uses her own upbringing to empower others in their journey
This story is part of a weekly series that celebrates outstanding teachers in our Flipgrid community. Stories by Angela Tewalt.
Nyree Clark knows Southern California’s Colton Joint Unified School District well.
She’s been living in the neighborhood since she was a child.
It’s breezy now – she walks through their doors with positivity, rigor, joy and power each day – but years ago as a young girl, she likely had the same outfit on as the day before and stood in front of the mirror by herself combing her own hair before the bus picked her up from her grandmother’s apartment in a fallen neighborhood.
You wouldn’t know it, but those memories are the exact reasons she chooses to teach in that same community today. If Nyree is anything, she is a testament – a reason for hope, proof of triumph and the voice that all children deserve to hear if they choose to believe it: Anyone is capable of anything, no matter where they come from.
“For me, teaching is being that change you want to see in the world,” says Nyree, who’s been an educator in her hometown for over 20 years now. “I feel very fortunate to be able to work in the community I was raised in, because I was the underdog. And now I want other people in that same position to thrive. I just want to be an example of what you can do when you keep working hard and not let your environment dictate who you are.
“You do not have to move out of that community! Your community can build you up, and you can build up your community, too.”