Champions of Wayne Blog
Below is a letter from Alexus, a senior at Wayne Memorial and a participant in Champions of Wayne, to her former mentor, Darcy DeRoo.
Dear Ms. DeRoo,
As many people may know, Wayne Memorial is very lucky to have such an amazing program like Champions of Wayne. The Champions program has pushed many students to meet their goals, academic and otherwise, (which is the primary goal of the program), but Champions has also drawn mentors and mentees extremely close.
I probably will never forget my first year at Wayne. I wasn’t in the Champions program yet but it was when I first met my mentor, Ms. Darcy Deroo, a.k.a you. You didn’t start with all the other teachers, (my first semester Algebra I teacher moved to a different district) so you became the long-term sub. I do have to say, sitting in class with a bad teenage attitude, dark clothes, dyed black hair over my eyes, and heavy eyeliner, people wouldn’t expect us to click. You being the complete opposite to me with your optimistic attitude, blonde hair, and colorful personality, but we did. I think it’s pretty safe to say we both had a rough first year at Wayne. In your defense, being a new teacher halfway into the year was definitely an enormous challenge (especially with the freshman in my class). But through every disrespectful remark, countless people not doing their homework, and the obvious people not paying attention during your teaching, you never lost your sense of humor or your optimism. That was probably the thing that drew me to wanting to stay after school with you. I started staying after class to have conversations with you, started coming back after school to do homework. You are probably the biggest reason I came out of my shell of pessimism. It became so much fun to just go talk to you and doing Algebra that Algebra eventually became fun, which carries on in me still today. You felt like more of an older sister to me than a teacher.
So when the summer passed and 10th grade started and other teachers were talking about the Champions program, I knew who I wanted my mentor to be, even though I didn’t have you as a teacher. We just grew closer, and I started helping students in your classes after school with you. We started having weekly meetings, and you completely pushed me in my journalism career in the school newspaper. We even did a commercial for the Champions program together for the Chevy website, which was probably the most interesting thing I’ve ever done. Things were great and I met my Champions goal both semesters you were my mentor. 10th grade came to an end and throughout the summer we stayed in touch. You sent me a notebook and pens for meeting my goal and told me not to stop writing no matter what. I took the advice very seriously and am now pursuing a career in journalism and have been writing almost everyday in the same notebook you sent me. I was excited of course to go back to school with our meetings and rejoining Champions with you as my mentor once again, when you told me you were moving to Denver, Colorado for a new job. I was devastated but I figured it must be a really good opportunity for you, which I was excited for.
Now I just finished the first semester of 11th grade without you, and it was hard. I had no one to complain to with all my new classes and new life changes. I was really confused with what classes to take next year, and no one to talk to about them. A lot of different things have happened. A lot has changed in my life and I’ve done so many new things in and outside of school. I haven’t been able to see or talk to you since the summer, which is so not fair! I miss you as my mentor, even though I have a new mentor it’s not the same. I wish you would come back to Wayne.