Photo and story by Anthony Hawkins

On November 3, Carley Dunson received a message over the intercom at school that she would not be going to after school care. To her surprise, someone would be picking her up from school that day. After school, Dunson’s father picked her up.

“Where is Mommy?” she asked. Three hours later, she arrived at the hospital to meet her newborn baby brother who was seven pounds and three ounces.

Now 15, Dunson is a rising sophomore at Murrah High School. She plays the saxophone in the band, and also a member of Educator Rising. During Dunson’s seventh-grade year at Kirksey Middle School, she remembers her English teacher, Regina Alexander, for her great and optimistic personality.

“She was a teacher who cared and she inspired me to want to be a teacher,” she says.

Dunson’s mother is also an inspirational figure in her life. “She taught me that you should always be yourself and never let them change that,” she says.

Her favorite book is “Tears of a Tiger” by Sharon Draper. She likes this book because she relates to the main character’s emotions.

Dunson is not a people person; however, she is working on coming out of her  shell. She is a very straight-forward individual who does not like to being taken advantage of, and is an avid believer in education and honesty.

The Youth Media Project is very inspiring to Dunson because it gives her the opportunity to gain interpersonal skills, along with journalism skills that allow her to give back to the community by creating and initiating solutions-based journalism for teens and others in the Jackson community.

“One day, I hope to inspired people and teach them to just be yourself because there is only one you, and each of us are individually unique,” she says.