Genesis joined the GEMS family as a seventh grader and her genuine, caring spirit enriched our community on a daily basis. Whether performing on stage, participating in student government, or working with younger students, Genesis became involved in many aspects of student life. Her dynamic personality and outgoing nature guided her in many activities inside and outside of the classroom.
The IB Middle Years Program and Diploma Program at GEMS provided Genesis an arena in which to shine. She grew from learning opportunities that allowed her to think critically about her place in the world and found ways to create impact. Ms. Jay Annadurai, Individuals and Societies teacher noted, “Genesis has a heart of gold. As we discussed social issues and inequities around the world, it became clear she feels deeply for those in need and wants to help. Genesis is creative and a great mentor to younger children.”
Balanced and open-minded, Genesis enjoys sharing her wisdom and learning with others. In class, Dr. Shannon Hurst recalled Genesis as “truly a social learner who works in groups and thrives in cooperative learning. Genesis loves to share and voice her ideas and thoughts, while listening to others. She is diplomatic in many ways.” It was no surprise that Genesis began a social media site featuring beauty, cosmetic, and personal care tips for young black women.
Michelle Obama once said, “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” It is clear Genesis is well on her way to a successful future in her college years and beyond. We wish her all the best as she moves on. Genesis proudly speaks of her GEMS journey in the following Q & A:
What were some of your favorite Field Study experiences?
My favorite Field Studies experiences at GEMS were definitely going to homeless shelters and food pantries. We had to pick out what we were going to make, get the ingredients to make it, and serve the meals. I think these experiences brought us closer together. They also shed a new light on how we should be grateful for what we have, and also made us think about others in society around us. I especially enjoyed these experiences because we were with people from different ethnic backgrounds and I got to use different languages to try and communicate with them.
What teaching and learning experiences do you feel are unique to GEMS?
An experience that seems unique to GEMS is the one-on-one attention that the teachers give you. Since our school has smaller classes, it is easier to communicate and connect, both with the teachers and others. This includes before school, during school, and after school help from the teachers. People should use that to their advantage.
How has your GEMS journey prepared you for college?
There are two unique ways that I think GEMS journey has prepared me for college. The first one is the beginning of the year trips. I know what you're thinking, why is she talking about trips? It can be uncomfortable in your first year of college to live in a dorm with someone you don't know. Thanks to the GEMS beginning of the year trips, I already had that experience. I am more likely to be comfortable now than I would if I didn't go on the trips when I first arrived at the school. The second way GEMS has prepared me for college is the whole process of the Diploma Program. I definitely think the DP and my college life will closely relate, so I'll be prepared for whatever challenges come to me.
What advice would you give to incoming ninth graders?
I think there is a lot of advice that I can give the incoming ninth graders that most people will already say, such as don't procrastinate, focus, be on top of everything, and etcetera. Yes, those are all required when you're coming into high school, but one thing I would definitely say is be your best self and try your hardest.
If you do not try in your work, it will reflect badly. Also, don't have a fixed mindset; people who believe their qualities are fixed traits will not be open to change. This will hinder your high school experience and the quality of your work. Always go back, revise, and double-check everything even after it's been submitted or graded to see what you can improve on for next time!
Genesis, all of us at GEMS World Academy Chicago are so proud of you and all you have become. We are excited to see how the next chapter of your life will unfold and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.