Carmenlita Jackson is 16-years-old. She says she was “weird as a kid” and has “made people laugh” all the way from pre-school. At her graduation, when they asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she jokingly said, “a mommy.” Her mother and grandmother in the audience laughed and rolled their eyes.
Presently, Carmenlita attends Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in the Douglas community area. As a freshman, she didn’t like it too much; as a sophomore, she was an honor roll student; and now, as a junior, she says it’s hard again, “but I’m going to get through.”
Her favorite classes are English and law. She wants to be a lawyer when she grows up, so it only makes sense. In law class they learn about negotiations and civil cases among other things. This week she is learning about criminal trials and drug cases.
Carmenlita’s top choices for college are Roosevelt University, Northwestern University, and Northern Illinois University. She would like to study English or business and start her own law firm one day. Roosevelt is her top choice because it has a program connected to The John Marshall Law School.
If not a lawyer, she would like to become an RA nurse (restorative nursing assistant). Responsibilities of an RA include assisting patients with exercise, providing care, and documenting activities. Carmenlita knows a lot about taking care of the human body. In her spare time she loves to exercise – playing basketball and floor hockey, running track, and dancing.
No matter what, Carmenlita says, “I just want to be successful and give back to the community.” A small piece of wisdom she would like to impart on younger students is, “Don’t stop!” She says freshman think high school is just a game, but it really counts, and it’s hard to catch up, so get focused from Day 1.
Carmenlita found out about Cabrini Connections through one of her mom’s coworkers who is a graduate of the program. She started in 7th grade, which makes this her fifth year. She is working with a new mentor this year, Abby Manger, on Thursday nights. Her cousin, Jahia Williams, is also here that night. “I really like it,” says Carmenlita. “When I’m close to a deadline, I know I have a Thursday to depend on.”
We’re glad you feel that way! Thanks for being a part of the Cabrini Connections family!