Student Spotlight -Mya’latronda Coleman

Mya Coleman looks like the typical teenager. The recent Ruston High School graduate loves to cook and make lashes, clothes, and purses. However Mya’s life was anything but typical just a couple years ago. Three important people in her life died in a short span of time: her father, her uncle and a close friend. One death would have been enough to set her back for a period of time, but three became more than she could bear. She was devastated. The impact of the three deaths left Mya in a very dark place where she simply lost interest in doing anything. She found herself not caring about a lot of things in life, especially school or any future career goals. She refused to take life seriously. She lacked the discipline or any motivation to do anything. While other students were making plans for their future and trying to get good grades, her life was at a standstill. She simply did not care.

Mya’s outlook began to change when she got involved in Teach One to Lead One at her high school. It wasn’t that she was all that excited about a mentoring program at first. She really didn’t feel anything, but that soon changed. What Mya encountered was a group of adults from her community that were talking about universal principles that all people need to become leaders. But beyond the talk about leadership, what Mya also experienced was a group of adults who showed great care and concern for her. She did not know she needed the program until she just gave it a try. What the group discussed began to sink in with Mya and her heart began to have hope for her future.

One of the lessons Mya learned was how to be a team member. Before the program, Mya hated working with people. She really did not know how teams of people functioned, but through T1L1 and the group role-playing activities, she learned what it meant to be a team player. That included showing respect to other people, practicing self-control and doing her personal best. These and other lessons helped Mya take a much more mature look at her life. Through her experience with T1L1, she began to make plans for her future. She became more disciplined and took schoolwork seriously. She was motivated to be successful. 

Mya reflects on the impact T1L1 mentors had on her life. “If it wasn’t for the program I don’t know where I would be. Teach One to Lead One played a major role in my life.”

Mya now encourages other students to give T1L1 a try. Her advice for a student hesitant about joining T1L1 is to “just GO!” She says the T1L1 program is essential for any student who is going through hard times and needs hope for a better future.  

What is in store for Mya in the future? She is planning to start college in the spring and study business. She has launched her own line of lashes, clothing and purses. However, Mya has one more goal for the future: she would like to close the circle with Teach One to Lead One and become a mentor to help students just like her.