Dyron Woods, Jr., (pictured with College Zone Coordinator Stephanie Rogers) is a 16-year-old sophomore at Lincoln Park High School. He likes to keep his grades high (right now he has a 4.0 GPA) by doing work on a regular basis, paying attention in class, and studying at home. His least favorite subject is art because he struggles with drawing, but he plans to get better by taking drawing classes outside of school which were recommended by his teacher. His favorite subject is geometry, which he used to hate, but he’s getting better thanks to his mentor, Nate Schmid.
Nate and Dyron have been working together at Cabrini Connections since October 2009. Nate spoke to Dyron and his mother on the phone before meeting in-person a few days later. When asked what Nate did to facilitate their relationship early on, Dyron says, “He went straight to geometry. He loves that stuff.”
Outside of class, Dyron plays baseball and basketball and he serves on a peer jury for the 18th District. He, along with other “judges,” decides consequences for young people who have done something wrong, like steal. Youth may have to perform community service hours or write a letter to the person they hurt. “Our job is to make them think about what they did,” says Dyron, “…Kids come in selfish, but after the program, they start to understand what they did and how they can changes their lives.” Great work!
For Lincoln Park’s basketball team, Dyron plays center and power forward. He says he has good abilities (He’s super tall!), but really he just likes to have fun. He hopes to eventually join an AAU team and play basketball in college. Right now his top choices are Southern Illinois University or The University of Texas. He visited UT last summer and is interested in their computer science program.
Dyron is considering a career in emergency services either as a policeman or a firefighter. Soon he will become a cadet in a youth training program. He says it’s a tough job, but he wants to give back to his community. Dyron lives on the Near North Side and he has a sister in third grade. (“She’s fun at times, sometimes annoying.”)
This summer, Dyron wants to get a business job so that he can see what it’s like to work in an office. If you have any connections, please let him know. They’ll be getting a bright young man!