Neighborhood Leadership Institue | True2U Mentor Messages
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True2U Mentor Messages

Greetings True2U Scholars!

We hope that you and your families are doing well and are in good spirits! The True2U staff and mentors were sad that our time together was cut short due to COVID 19 – we were enjoying getting to know you and discussing what you envision and want for your futures!

During the time that we were able to spend with you, we hope that you found the True2U program to be enlightening, engaging, and fun as you learned more about who you are, your talents, possible career options, and all of the amazing contributions you can make in this world!

More than 300 volunteers served as your mentors this year. We did not want to end the school year without the opportunity for your mentors to wish you well on your future journey as you transition into high school and beyond.

Please take a moment to read the well wishes and words of encouragement that your mentors have shared by clicking the link below for your school.

Wishing you all the best of success. Take care!

Adlai E. Stevenson

Good Day Students!

I MISS you and I hope that you all are doing well.  While we are going through a challenging time, there is always something we can learn from our experiences.  I have learned and hope you agree that:

Life is precious

The people in our lives are precious

And that we will be able to appreciate things and people more once this is all over…and it WILL be over

My hope for you is that you are still reading, learning, and challenging yourselves daily.  Be encouraged and I know that you all will do great in the 9th grade!  Be well, be blessed, and be encouraged

Ms. Pam


Hello Adlai Stevenson graduating glass of 2020,

This obviously isn’t the way that any of us wanted to congratulate you on your achievement, but life throws you curveballs sometimes and you’ve just got to figure it out on the fly.  Remember E+R=O (Event + Reaction = Outcome) and that it’s less about the circumstance that you find yourself in, and more about your approach to making the most of it.  I’m truly sorry that we weren’t able to finish our year together, we’d seen so much growth out of you just from the beginning of the year and it’s unfortunate to not be able to witness the completion of it all at your graduation this spring.  From the bottom of my heart, I know each and every one of you are capable of incredible things (even the snot-nosed kids because I used to be one of those too), it’s just up to you to maximize your potential and make the absolute most of every opportunity that you’ll be given, no matter how small it may seem at the time.

As you enter high school and subsequently college/military/trade schools/the workforce or whatever option you choose to take after you graduate, remember that you’re going to come across a lot of people, both good and bad along the way.  Do your best to filter out the people that are holding you back, and really cling on to the mentors/friends/relationship partners that are helping to progress your life and make you a better overall person.  Those are going to be the ones you want by your side in your brightest of times, and in your darkest, and learn to become the type of person that treats them and all others the exact same way.

As a wise man once said, “Where you sit in your old age, is determined by where you stand as a youth.”  So please don’t let four more years pass by and you find yourself being the same type of person you are today.  Grow with each moment, with each experience, and with each passing blessing and hardship, and I can promise you will be content with the person that comes out on the other side one way or another.

I love and care more for you all than you’ll ever know, and I wish you nothing but the absolute best in your future endeavors.

With peace, love, and happiness,

Imani Scruggs


Adlai E Stevenson 2019/2020 8th graders!

It has been our pleasure to work with you all. Our time together was unexpectedly cut short due to a nationwide pandemic. However, we truly believe that the work we did together on self-esteem, recognizing your strengths, and decision making will only set you up for success in the near future!

A few words of encouragement:

YOU ARE… Strong, Special, Awesome, Tough, Loved, Not Alone, Supported, Worth It, Amazing, and Brave.

YOU got this!

This isn’t goodbye…Just think of it as, we’ll see you later! Congratulations on completing this milestone in life😘

Stay Safe and Good Luck!

Your 2019/2020 True2U Mentors,

Analesa Dudley & Ixsa Rojas

Albert Bushnell Hart

Dear Staff and Students,

When we go to sleep at night rarely can we fully know what tomorrow will provide for us as our next challenge.  The COVID-19 pandemic that has rocked the normalcy of the world, the United States, Ohio, and our individual communities and homes continues to test our metal, our resolve, and our faith.

I pray that you and your families have remained healthy, and should you have had to deal with sickness or loss, I express my heartfelt sympathy and the hope that your days brighten.

I must admit that I have deeply enjoyed the time I have spent working with all of the Cleveland Metro Schools eight grade students, and your class was no exception.  While our time together was shortened, I hope that you took away a better understanding of not only the traits that that are important to your future success, but also a better understanding of those many qualities that you already have that you just need to rely more deeply on.

I think of young students much the way I think about smoking ribs in the backyard for my family and friends.

First and foremost I need to start with a good piece of meat.  It’s the most important thing because without it, all the sauce in the world can’t make it taste good.  That’s you.  It’s who you are, or certainly who you want to become.  Utilize your strengths to the fullest and work diligently to minimize your weaknesses.  We all have both.  You are no different than me.

Next take your time and cook the meat on low heat and slowly.  High heat and fast cooking just makes the meat tough. This is your education.  Don’t rush through it just trying to get to the end.  Embrace the knowledge and the many connections with educators, mentors, and fellow students.  Keep it low and slow.

Finally, add the best ingredients to the sauce.  It’s amazing how much attention the sauce gets rather than all the time we spent on preparing the meat.  Often, that which is most important goes un-noticed because the end product is so good.  Your special sauce are those skills and attributes that are uniquely you.  It’s your attitude, personality, empathy, respectfulness, and ability to give to those less fortunate.  Believe me, there are both always those who have more, and always those who have less.  Make your special sauce sweet, tangy, and a little spicy and people will love it.

I wish you all the greatest success as you continue to become that which YOU decide that you want to be.  Be strong, passionate, committed, and caring, and don’t let anyone convince you that you can’t do something.

Focus on I Will and I Can, rather than I won’t and I can’t.


Mark Clendenin


Dear AB Hart 8th Graders,

I know that we had our True2U program cut short this year, but I hope that you will take with you at least one critical thing from all of the sessions and use it along your journey. Each of you brought something special to the class. Never forget how valuable you are to the future world. You have an important role to play and that is to live out your dreams; making them your reality. Be flexible and understand that even if you veer from your original path you can find the nearest detour back to your dream. Don’t wait for someone else to encourage you when things get rough because someone else might take too long to notice you need a little lift. Sometimes we have to pause and encourage ourselves so that we don’t lose any more momentum.

“Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try.” – William Arthur Ward

I wish you all the best in everything you do!

Mrs. Christian D. Tobin


Hello Everyone!

Even though we did not get to finish the program as planned, I had a great time sharing True2U with you over the past year. We learned a lot and I am sure you will all take those lessons with you to high school next year and be successful! Thank you for being such a great group to work with and good luck in all your future endeavors!

Adam Sheetz

Alfred A. Benesch

Hi Scholars!

Blessings to you and your family under these different circumstances. It was such a rewarding opportunity to work with this passionate group of students. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete our assignment and share our last encouraging words, but I wish them all the absolute very best! I look forward to the innovative ways True2U continues to mentor Cleveland scholars. Here are a few final well words as you continue on your journey:

Strength! Courage! You will lead others as you go in the direction of your dreams. The plans for your life are to prosper you and give you hope for the future

Continue to be safe and remember to keep smiling.

Tatiana Wells


To the 8th Grade Students at Almira School,

I am disappointed that we were not able to finish our time together with the True2U program.  I was looking forward to seeing you this spring and giving you encouragement personally as you prepare for high school.

Please know that I am thinking of you and I will continue to have you in my thoughts through the summer and in the fall when you enter high school.

I hope you and your family are healthy and that you continue to work hard as you finish 8th grade.  I enjoyed meeting each of you.

Best wishes,

Trudy Hutchinson

Andrew J. Rickoff

Hello my favorite students!

I must say that I had a very interesting and fulfilling experience with you all.  You definitely taught me a lot and hopefully, my mentoring and messages have made a good impression on you.

I miss our sessions filled with jokes, laughter, sharing and learning.

Although we weren’t able to finish out the year, which truly saddens me, I pray that you’ve learned and are able to use the information that was provided to you well into your forthcoming years in high school.  You will have a lot more decision making to do.  Trust me.  This is just the beginning.

You are all great.  Don’t let anyone tell you anything different.

Keep your head up to the sky, cause there are no limits to what you can achieve.


Remember, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.  😊

Peace & Love to you all and I pray you have a wonderful summer!  Stay safe………

Denise K. Lewis


What’s up TRUE2U 8 graders?!

It was my pleasure to mentor you during the 2019-2020 school year. I hope as a result of the curriculum that you have learned more about yourself and learned to begin using that knowledge. Use that self-knowledge in helpful and healthy ways in high school and you will be happy and successful.

Although our final sessions were not completed I trust your high school choice is now complete.  Your thoughtful decision regarding your high school choice has made your 8th grade True2U experience a successful one.  I hope you have experienced some personal satisfaction. Good job. Congratulations!

I regret being unable to greet you and bid you farewell in person. However my hopes and prayers are for your continual educational and vocational future success and gratification. If at any particular point in time you feel or are made to feel unsuccessful, remember success occurs over a period of time. It is not a moment in time.

At your young age you have plenty of time to invest in your success. I encourage you to invest the time and after a period of time you will experience success and contentment from your investment.  Invest in yourself and your success by preparing for the upcoming school year. Continue to use your knowledge of yourself.

Stay safe,

Dr. Leonard Killings

Anton Grdina

Dear 2020 Graduating Class from Anton Grdina,

Congratulations on your graduation and best wishes to you as you progress forward to high school next year! The times that we are currently living in are tough, but we all will make it through this disruption in our lives together.  We need you as our community’s future leaders to step up and be a part of the solution.  As you enter into high school and the world beyond, here are some words of encouragement: Try new things.  Step out of your comfort zones and soar. Choose people who will lift you up.

And, most importantly:

“Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education and then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.” – Michelle Obama


Carla Haren

Artemus Ward

Hey, True2U Group!

Dr. J here – I just wanted to send you a message saying thanks for the being an excellent group. I’m disappointed we didn’t get to finish all of our sessions together, but hopefully the time we did have was fun, and helped prepare you for high school and beyond. Good luck next year, and if I can help with anything, you can always reach me through Ms. O’Donnell.

Have a great 4 years of high school, and get ready for whatever comes next for you!

Dr. J


Wishing the Artemus Ward 8th Grade class a healthy and happy summer. It was a pleasure to get to know all of you and for allowing us to share this important time of your life.

Chasing a dream requires efforts, passion and hard work.  Please continue to work hard, ask questions, and drive for perfection each day. As you prepare for your next four years in High School, remember that life is full of choices. Choose wisely and be well. Best of luck to each of you on your journey!

Paula, Lakisha, Britt & Harry

True2U Mentors from Credit First National Association


Hi Artemus Ward 8th Graders!

First off, I want to thank you for allowing me to be your mentor for that very short period of time. Although I was not able to spend much time with young ladies and young men, I know you all have a brilliant future ahead of you. Establish goals for what you want to achieve in life and start making short to do lists to achieve them. As I reflect on my life, I grew up in a very poor neighborhood of Detroit and I was able to achieve my goals by keeping focused and asking for help when I needed it. In high school, I also joined clubs that were interesting to me. I write that so you all know that with hard work, anything is possible. So, my last piece of advice for you all is to find what you enjoy in life and BE THE BEST at it.

I wish you all the very best in high school and beyond.

Warmest regards,

Ms. V (Veronica)

Benjamin Franklin

Hello 8th Graders!

It was nice to work with you this past year!

I wish you all the best of luck next year and in the future!

Take Care!

Mrs. Webber


Dear Bolton Students,

I want to wish you well as you continue your journey completing your studies at Bolton and moving towards the 9th grade and very exciting first year of high school.  While we weren’t able to complete our mentoring sessions together know that I truly appreciated the time we spent together, being able to connect, share experiences, laugh and learn from each other.  I pray you and your family stay well and I wish you all the best.

Ms. Sherelle Tucker


Dear 8th Graders at Bolton Elementary,

I pray this message finds each of you and your families well.

I’m saddened that our True2U Mentor Sessions had to end so abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We miss spending time with you every month and having the opportunity to learn from one another.  And, I can imagine that everything that has happened over the last few months must have been confusing, frightening, stressful and leaves many to wonder about what the summer and next school year will look like.

Hopefully, you’ve been keeping up with your school work.  This is also the time to stay virtually connected with friends, family, and loved ones.  My family and I have been challenged by all of this and we are making sure to talk with friends and family by phone and Zoom and we stay connected through Facebook and Instagram.  My family in Vegas shares pictures and videos via WhatsApp…some are really funny, especially the ones with the grandkids!

My hope is that you all have been staying home and staying safe by practicing social (physical) distancing – staying six feet away from others.  Doing so will help protect you and others from getting or spreading the virus, which is very important for everyone’s well-being.  It’s also a great time to learn a new hobby, play games, and to learn more about yourself!

I wish you all well as you prepare to transition to the 9th grade.  Remember to reflect upon and put into practice the things you learned from our session – like good decision making, honing in on your strengths, and continue to appreciate all the things that make you unique.

To your success!

Ms. Angela


Buhrer Dual Language

Hi 8th Graders at Buhrer Dual Language in Mr. West’s Class,

We are so proud of how much you have grown over this past year! We have really enjoyed meeting all of you and look forward to the amazing things you all will accomplish as you enter high school!

Best of luck!


Your True2U Mentors,

Gabi and Alex


Hello everyone,

I first would like to say that it was a pleasure and an honor to have been your mentor for this 2019-2020 school year.  You have touched and inspired me in so many ways for which you have made me a better person and mentor.  And for that, I thank you all for the times we had together.  I wish you all the best for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.  Although we didn’t complete our sessions, I am more than confident you all will be successful in your future.

I would like you to remember this last note from your mentor…

Remember these days, these months with the COVID 19.  Although our ways of living altered, that does not affect your future and the direction you plan to take.  Learn, grow, and become the positive influence in society that you want to become.  Even though you are at home quarantined, you still have supports in place to help and guide you through these times.  You all have beautiful goals on what you want to do.  Set your sights on it and push through all obstacles to get and accomplish your goals.

Best Wishes,

Ivelisse “Ivey” Negron


Hi Buhrer 8th Graders!

First, I hope each of you and your families are safe and healthy. If you or your family members’ are having to work outside the house right now, THANK YOU. I hope you realize how selfless and heroic that is.

It’s scary right now, and it’s ok to feel scared or unsure or even not feel much differently at all. You have a building full of adults at Buhrer that care about y’all (including Ivey and me!). I know it must be a bummer to miss all the awesome end-of-year graduation activities (and the last bit of True2U, of course), and I hope y’all are staying connected to one another virtually. It can be really hard to stay inside and not hang out with your friends, especially during such a special time! I feel the same way! I’m starting to think I should get a TikTok?! JK, I don’t understand that app.

Each one of y’all have impressed me during our time together – you’re thoughtful, hilarious, bold, and I know you will make your new high schools better just by being you. There will be hard moments and moments that make you doubt yourself, and moments when you mess up big time. But that just means that you’re trying, and trying to do better or be better is never a bad thing!

Thinking of y’all! Stay safe. Try to do nice things for others (and yourself!).



Campus International

Dear True2U Students from Ms. Lorek’s class:

We wanted to let you know how much we enjoying working with you in True2U.  It was wonderful to get to know each of you, your talents, and your career plans.  Whether it was Jenga, poetry, Sudoku, or the Game of Life, you were always a fun and creative group.  We wish you all the best in your high school studies and in the years ahead.

Danielle and Jeff



Thank you all for allowing me to sow into your journey to High School and onward to Higher Education and Training.  You all have a very bright future in front of you.  I appreciate the time and energy you gave by participating in each activity, doing the career clusters to determine your areas of interest, playing the games to develop skills and strengths and just listening.  I believe the things we discussed will be remembered and used to build a productive career and life style.

I hope you will take the extra advice I gave on future life lessons. These things will come quick, Keep your grades and GPA high. Don’t do drugs (it the 1st test you will take entering the job force). Always be on time, consider multiple streams of income, (you all have more than 1 skill and talent).

When the time comes after High School graduation, remember this most of all: USE the Say Yes program, there is money on the table for your education, training in a trade/vocational school, and for at least 4 years of college.  The following things are also important: keep your credit score high, check your reports and keep it in good standing, paying bills on time, do not get in credit card debt while in college or trade school.

Also, your generations is a 1st to experience these opportunities.  Know you can be great in the career of your choice.  You have no excuses. Please use the resources True2U, CMSD School Choice program and the Say Yes Scholarship organization has given you.

You all are great, talented, focused and gifted students.  You may not believe it now, but you have shown me that you have skills, personality and the drive to succeed and accomplish your dreams.  Go For It!

Congratulations young scholars of 2020! Covid19 had given you all a piece of history; this has never happened in America on this scale.  You all are the future of Government Policy, Virtual Technology, and Medical world, News and Communication and you have experienced it and know the effect.  You all can use it to help make positive changes in the world.

Sincerely it has been my pleasure.  Be safe, please follow the rules of social distancing, sanitizing, wear mask, and always protect yourselves. BE TRUE 2 YOU!

God bless each of you

Ms. Tansy Cowan

True2U Mentor Partner


This is Cariss, your True2U mentor for this year. I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe. It saddened me so much to hear that we wouldn’t get a chance to see each other – and hear about where you’ll be starting high school. It was truly my pleasure to get to know all of you (even the ones who didn’t want to be there J). Each of you brought your unique and authentic selves to the group, and I really cherished our time together.

Although we may not have had the chance to finish what we started together, it is my hope for each and every one of you that as you take the next step in life, that you land at a school/program that will honor your individual gifts and talents and put you on the pathway to YOUR vision of the future. Please remember, that while your friends and family will be there to support and offer input on the trajectory of your life, it is ultimately up to you to determine your destiny!

These are challenging times for all of us, and even I struggle with the anxiety of the unknown. But please continue to be there for each other. Be kind to each other. Be kind to yourself. Take a minute or two every day to write down your thoughts, feel the feelings, find something good in each day and harness the positive energy you need to get you through.

Thank you for showing up. Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey. I wish you all the happiness and joy you can stand…and even more beyond that! Remember to honor yourselves and your dreams…it’s never too late to become the person you were meant to be.

Wishing you peace and blessings ~ Cariss


Campus International True2U Group 4 – Ms. Webber’s classroom;

This is not how I expected to offer my best wishes at the end of True2U 2019/2020. However, I learned long ago the importance of being able to adapt to circumstances.

Together, we accomplished a lot. In our sessions we explored ways to identify what is important to each of us, what we enjoy doing, and considered the ways to engage in school and work in the future. I’m guessing by now you have (or soon will have) your High School choice in hand. I wish you success in your continued education.

COVID-19 has provided us with an opportunity. (From lemons we make lemonade!) In this time when we have been forced to separate, we have the opportunity to reflect on things we hold as important to our selves. Family, friends, and the many people who make-up our communities are high on my list of things I miss during this period of isolation. I’m glad that I can be resourceful. My family has managed to stay busy and more importantly, safe during this period. I’ve been working on home improvement and furniture projects! You may recall that my wife is a teacher. She too has kept busy supporting her students’ ongoing learning.

Ms. Jarvis reports that she too is working at home. She has been with her family that includes children in school, much like yourselves.

After being at home for a month, I’m guessing you can list the things you have relied on to get through this period. You can probably also list some things you wish you had. The opportunity for you is having the time to consider these things. Hopefully you will recognize these people, places or things that are important to you. Hold these things high in your lives. Your future will be much brighter if you can work to keep these things in your life.

Good luck in High School and beyond!

Deanna Jarvis and John Murphy


Dear Campus International School Explorers,

Can you believe what has happened? This pandemic is something that will be recorded in future history lessons. What have you learned about yourselves during this time indoors? Ms. Johnson has learned that as a true introvert, she had to make very few changes in her life to accommodate this time. She has also learned that there are people whom she misses and activities that she wishes she’d had time to complete. True2U is one of those activities.

Though we did not get much time together, it was a pleasure to meet all of you and to engage with you during the True2U sessions! I hope that our interactions and activities during True2U were valuable in helping you to determine what is next for you.

We did not get to complete our lessons, but we were able to start you on the path to learning who you really are and what matters most for you. You should now have some idea as to the nature of your true personality, the many types of intelligence that you possess, and careers that align with your personality and intelligence. We truly enjoyed watching your faces as you discovered the many paths that you could choose given what is on the inside of you.

We also spent some time talking about choices, how to best make them, and how important they are to everything that happens in your life. As J.K. Rowling wrote in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” It is this thought that I want you to focus on. Everything that happens in your life will be a direct result of your choices. You can be über intelligent, be well connected, and have every opportunity for success handed to you on a platter. However, if you do not choose to use that intelligence—perhaps electing instead to follow the misguided advice of your peers—or to take advantage of those connections and opportunities, success may take a circuitous path at best, or elude you altogether at worst. It is our hope that something was said or done that will encourage you to make good choices each day, beginning with your choice of the high school that best fits your plans.

If ever we can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to reach out. Ms. Beers will always know how to find us, as will the True2U administrators. We would love to hear how things go for you in the coming years. Hopefully, we will learn that you have made good choices!

With warm regards,

Deborah Johnson & Ted Carter


True2U Class of 2020,

Thank you all for your hard work and focus during the program this year! I enjoyed meeting all of you and am really sad that we couldn’t finish the program. As you venture into your high school years please remember that decisions you make now will impact your future. Utilize every resource available, and try to soak up as much information as possible! Lean on your teachers, counselors and mentors to help you when you need help. Never be afraid to ask for help! Support your classmates, and remember that you can do anything you put your mind to! Enjoy your summer and hope I see you around!!

Mr. David


Dear 8th Graders at CASE,

I really enjoyed working with each of you in the True2U mentorship program this year. It was inspiring to hear your dreams and goals for the future. I have no doubt that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to as long as you remain focused and determined in high school. After all, anything IS possible! Keep up the great work 😊


Ms. Tricia

Charles A. Mooney

When things get rough as they sometimes do, never ever stop believing in yourself. Hold on to the idea that with hard work, you can accomplish anything. I wish you all happiness, prosperity and good health! Good luck as you enter into your high school chapter.

Best Wishes – Sharitta Thomas


Although the school year didn’t end as expected, “often things in life don’t end as we plan”, I want to express to all you my heartfelt belief that you are ready for high school.

Please continue to lean on all the preparations you have made thus far in your life, and do not be afraid to work outside your comfort zone.

Finally, try to stay in the moment, because the next four years are going to fly by.

Farewell and good luck.

Terrell H. Pruitt

Charles Dickens

We are excited that you will be starting your high school career soon. Even though we are all facing social distancing, and working to keep ourselves healthy and well during this time of COVID 19, we want you to remember to keep your hopes and dreams in front of you. And remember that it takes work and persistence to make your dreams come true. We are confident that you can make your dreams a reality.  Stay Healthy. Peace

Mrs. Qianna “Q-Tip” Tidmore

Mrs. Marie Jones


To Our True2U Eighth Graders at Charles Dickens Elementary,

We want you to know that it has been a pleasure getting to know you all. We hope that you, your family members and your schoolmates are all safe and healthy. We are both disappointed that we weren’t able to complete the True2U sessions with you, but we hope that the time we spent together learning about your values, strengths and interests, and talking about some occupations of interest, will help you through your high school years and beyond!

We want to encourage you to be a person of your word. Do what you say you are going to do. That applies to goals you set for yourself too. Be honest, and people will respect you. At times, people will not agree with you, and they may not always believe the same way you do, but if you do your best to keep your word and follow through on your commitments, people will respect you for that.

We are living in a time when the world needs heroes. We need people who look out for others and who come to the rescue of people in need. Today, we can all be heroes from our living rooms!  Just by helping your parents and grandparents and by looking out for older adults who may need someone to call and say hello. Or you can make simple face masks to give to people in need. After this health crisis is over, continue to think about ways that you can serve others as you grow and mature into young men and women.

These are uncertain times. None of us expected that we would be experiencing a worldwide pandemic and you would need to stay at home instead of going to school, but we want to encourage you to continue to remember who you are. Remember what your strengths are, what your values are, and what you care about. Write down what you want to accomplish. Think about your personal growth as a student and in life! Make choices that you will be proud of tomorrow, next week, in a month, in years ahead.

We wish you all the best as you prepare to end this school year and look forward to high school. Take advantage of every opportunity you can. Don’t let fear make choices for you. Let your choices be based on love for yourself, your gifts, and love for others.

Best wishes,

Your True2U Mentors

Michelle Broome and Fran Stewart

Clara E. Westropp

Hey Scholars!

Thank you for welcoming me into Clara E Westropp. It was a pleasure to learn more about your values, goals, and vision for life. Each of you possess incredible talent and will be a trailblazer in your community. I am excited to see where life takes you and hope you remember the lessons True2U has taught you and that you always have someone in your corner rooting for you!

Your mentor,

Tiara Sargeant


Hello Students,

This is your True2U Mentor Levert Davis and I am thankful to have to this opportunity to say “Goodbye and Good luck”.  I also wanted to thank each of you for making my 1st year Mentor experience very productive and memorable.

Please keep your focused and “stay in school”.  Life is full of good experiences and opportunities, the decisions you make will continue to shape your future. Hard work and determination will pay off.

Thank you again, stay safe and I wish you well.

Levert Davis

True2U Mentor


8th Grade Clark students,

Hi Everyone! Remember all those days we wished for a snow day? Who would have ever thought we would be away from school this long.  I am so sad I didn’t get to finish up the school year with you. I truly enjoyed my time with all of you. I wish you the best and know you will do great things. You can do or be ANYTHING you want in this world. Don’t ever settle for less! Success comes from hard work. You will have good days and bad just don’t ever give up! Most of the time, the biggest challenges are where you will find your greatest accomplishments.

Always remember to treat others the way you want to be treated. There will be times you want to tell that teacher or boss how you really feel… don’t do it! Always be the bigger person and the BEST version of yourself! Build people up not down!

I wish you all the best in high school and in the future. Keep working hard and challenging yourself.  Dream big and do it all but don’t forget to smile and have fun!! 😊

Your True2U mentor,

Miss Jenny


Dear Clark Scholars,

I hope the day finds you well. I know the events of the last few months have brought about major adjustments for all of us due to the precautions needed because of Covid-19. I hope that you are adjusting to this situation with an open mind and focus on the future as this change will not be permanent. I found myself being thankful for most things big and small and plan on all the great and fun things I will be able to do once this thing is over. Please continue to read and plan for the great future that can develop through a positive attitude and continued hard work. I want you to know that even though our time was shortened that I enjoyed the time we spent and wish all of you well. You were kind and attentive and are taking positive steps towards your future.

Thanks, and take care.

Wm. Eric Hills

Daniel E. Morgan

Hello 8th Grade Students,

It was a pleasure to work, meet, laugh, and learn with you all during our short time together. I want to encourage each and every one of you to continue to strive for greatness and follow your dreams. No matter how many bumps you hit along the way, never give up.

You are important, you matter to the world.  What you say, what you think, and what you know can potentially change the world and make it a better place.

Never give up and keep trying your best.  Take care!

LeVonn Brock


Hey Kids,

It was joy walking alongside you this year as you investigated your skills, personality, and desires for the future. Thank you so much for allowing me to be your mentor this year! I loved getting the chance to know each of you and work with you especially as you imagine what the future is going to look like in high school and beyond. It was so fun to get a glimpse into your ideas and dreams about who you want to be and what you want to become. I know you all are going to be great in whatever profession you pursue, just remember to continue being the kind kids you are:)

Thank you and hope to see you around the neighborhood!


Anthony Giambroni


I enjoyed working with you guys this past year in True2U.  Congratulations on your 8th grade graduation!  I wish you the best for high school and beyond.  Stay safe and enjoy your summer!

Jeanne Sua


Hello eighth grade students at Denison!

This is Ellen Koonce and it has been a true honor and privilege getting to know each of you during this year’s True2U curriculum. Although this year’s Program was cut short, I am confident that each of you will press on for personal and professional successes.

Thank you. Be well, work hard, best wishes.


Dike School of the Arts

Hello wonderful students! I do hate that we had to cancel our last True2U sessions due to COVID-19! I hope that your first year in senior high school is an amazing experience for you and that you will make good choices! Remember we learned how your choices today impacts your future!

I pray you are safe and that you will have a beautiful summer break! I hope to see you all soon and that each of your dreams come true.

For those who wanted to dance, to sing, to act, to make their own video games, to help deliver babies, to owning your own business – you can do it all! God speed and God Bless!

Rochelle Jackson-Days

  • Dear Students,


Although brief, it’s been an honor to work with you. I love young people. Your enthusiasm, spirit and energy give me hope for the future. It was impressive to see so many bright lights in your class, each of you shine with unlimited potential. I wish you all the best. Below is one of my favorite poems, please allow me to share:

One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

One is Evil – it is anger, envy, jealousy, doubt, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

The other is Good – it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, forgiveness, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Best Regards

Patrice Hunter-Sloan


Dear 8th grade scholars of Dike School of the Arts,

It is unfortunate that our time together this school year was cut short; however, I know that you will continue to soar with success in all that you do.

Thank you for accepting and allowing me to share in your 8th grade experience to help you prepare for your high school years.  Continue to openly share your positive attitude and knowledge with all – you’re great at it!

Always remember that you are your key to success so don’t be afraid to take opportunities and challenges and turn them into your personal success.

It was a pleasure working with each of you.

Best Wishes

Ms. J. Harper


Douglas MacArthur Girls' Leadership Academy

Dearest Aaliyah, Alesiyah, Amira, Angelina, Eliesha, Hannah, Janna, Jayda, Lana, Lena, Mariyah, Myah, Sariah, and the rest of the 8th grade class at Douglas MacArthur:

I am so sorry that your 8th grade year was cut short, but I am so thankful that Miss Emily and I were able to spend those 5 months working with you, learning about you, and helping you explore your future possibilities.  As you know, we won’t be able to meet for any of our final meetings.  But I wish you all the best for high school!  Each of you ladies are smart and full of individuality and I’m certain that you all will be successful in high school and in all of your endeavors beyond.

Always remember the importance of making good decisions and remember that it’s never too late to change your minds and forge a new path. Good luck with high school!!  GO Class of 2024!!!!

All the best,

Miss Felecia


Dear 8th Grade True2U Mentees:

Thank you for the privilege of participating in your classroom experience this year at Douglas MacArthur Girls’ Leadership Academy.

We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you. Seeing you enthusiastically learn about your interests, strengths, learning styles and goals for the future was inspiring to us. We hope the knowledge you gained is not only useful to you as you start on this journey to high school, but also in your personal lives as we collectively learn how to navigate life during new and uncertain times.

In addition to expanding your understanding of career clusters and multiple intelligences, we hope that True2U also brought some enjoyable moments to your 8th grade year through activities such as the human knot, the Game of Life, Jenga and others; these were fun and helped us to practice teamwork and apply our intelligences.

While we had to shorten our experience in order to be as safe as possible, we are grateful for the time we had to share the True2U program with you. We wish you every success in high school and beyond, and we have complete confidence that each of you will excel.

“Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.”  – Michelle Obama

Congratulations on your accomplishments this school year!

We wish you a healthy and hopeful summer.


Shana Marbury and Valerie Jerome

East Clark

Dear East Clark class of 2024!

I deeply regret that we were unable to continue our work together for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Please keep these three things with you from our time together:

  1. If you remember just 1 thing remember that YOU MATTER.
  2. Remember THE BIKE OF LIFE; the front wheel is your interests and they will steer you towards your goals in life, the back wheel is your strengths and they will power you through every challenge and opportunity on the way to your goals.
  3. Remember that PERSISTENCE IS THE KEY, winners never quit. Take your “bike” and explore everything you come into contact with!

With much love and respect,

Mentors Matt, Shawntaye, Elizabeth, and Chantelle

Euclid Park

Hello students,

I hope everyone is doing fine!  I know this is a very difficult time for all of us. Ms. Vera and I (Ms. Diana) looked forward to preparing you for the very important step in your lives high school! During the short time we spent with your class we thoroughly enjoyed it. The sessions were challenging but very rewarding.  The year began very well, and our sessions proved to be very productive. We miss being able to complete the rest of the program this year, but these circumstances are beyond our control.

We hope that during these weeks at home you are able to continue your studies and we wish you all the best for high school. Class of 2024!

Ms. Diana Gordon & Ms. Vera Perkins-Hughes


Dear Euclid Park 8th Graders,

We wanted to tell you all that we enjoyed meeting and working with you all.  We think you all have a bright future ahead of you.  Remember you can become whatever you want as long as you Work Hard, Dream Big and Never Give Up.  You can make it. We hope you all were able to pick a high school that fits you.  We wish you all the best in your future.


Evelyn Holmes & Mercedes Bell

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Dear FDR True2U Group 1,

We really miss spending time with you in the True2U program. We both were looking forward to and had prepared for our next meeting and were sad to find out that due to the precautions to slow the spread of covid-19 the program has been cancelled for the remainder of the school year. We pray that you are all healthy and safe and that you and your families are following the stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines.

Keep up with your schoolwork as best you can but rest assured that your teachers will be eager to get you on track when the new school year starts.

We wish you all the best in your high school careers and in all your educational and vocational choices.

God bless you all.


Laureen Beach and Linda Evans


As your True2U mentors, Mr. Williams and I would like to thank you for allowing us to come into your school to help in your transition to high school. We hope that you were able to select a school that meets your future education and career aspirations.

We would like to offer these words to encourage you, not just in high school, but throughout your life:

  1. Keep your strengths in mind
  2. Build your confidence
  3. Take initiative
  4. Advocate for yourself
  5. Challenge yourself and your limits
  6. Make smart decisions

We enjoyed our time with you and are really saddened and disappointed that the year were cutoff so abruptly.

Take care and keep moving forward!

Your True2U Mentors

Anise Jefferson & Carzell Williams


Dear Garfield 8th graders,

Mike and I were so very happy to get to know you during True2U and are super disappointed we couldn’t finish out the program together due to COVID-19. We hope you are healthy, staying safe, learning a lot and having as much fun as possible! We’ve been working from home and hope that your at-home studies have been engaging and fruitful.

Best of luck with the rest of the school year and the beginning of your new adventure in High School! We know you will rock it!

Take Care,

Mike & Jessica


Garfield eighth graders,

I hope you and your families are healthy during this time. I am so sad I was not able to finish out the school year with our True2U sessions. I truly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you and hearing about your aspirations. I have no doubt each of you will find success in your careers, starting with your first day of high school. Although this is not how the end of your junior high years was imagined, I hope you are excited for a new chapter and prepared to make new friends and take on the responsibilities of a high school student. Continue to work hard, make good decisions, and have fun! The guidelines we created for our classroom are great guidelines to incorporate to all aspects of your life. I have included them below for reference.

  • Respect
  • Patience
  • Golden Rule (treat others how you wish to be treated)
  • Responsibility
  • Participation
  • No bullying
  • Team work

Have fun!

Thanks for a great year and GOOD LUCK!

Megan Coffman, CTP

George Washington Carver

Hello George Washington Carver 8th grade students!

Keep chasing your dreams and staying true to yourselves!

Good luck in high school, you all will do great! We wish you all the best!

Ms. Jessica and Ms. Tashawna


Hello! George Washington Carver 8th Grade True2U Students,

Though our True2U mentoring sessions were cut short due to the early closing of the school year, please know that Ms. Bonnie and I truly enjoyed the opportunity to help you identify your strengths and interests and to assist you with making the best high school choices that will prepare you for future education, careers and jobs. Due to time constraints, the monthly interactive True2U sessions were sometimes rushed, but, Ms. Bonnie and I were very pleased with each and every one of you who participated. That was an accomplishment in itself. It showed us that you cared enough to try something different and you had nothing to lose, but everything to gain. I enjoyed the ice breaker where you had to untangle yourselves. This ice breaker required teamwork, patience and listening to suggestions from one another. Each group was successful due to the fact you had to “think” before you made a decision. The right choices resulted in a successful outcome.

Ms. Bonnie and I encourage you to make the most of your time off during the summer talking to people about any concerns or questions about your new journey as a high school freshman. High school is the next phase to becoming an independent person. You will learn how to become a responsible citizen and expected to set goals to become the person that will make you and others proud. Connect with positive thinking people who have your best interest in mind. Positive energy works in your favor. Good things happen to good people. And don’t forget to explore careers and jobs that will make you happy.

Just know that Ms. Bonnie & I enjoyed meeting everyone and we believe you all have so much potential. Please be safe, and, again, if you have a problem or concern, don’t keep it to yourself, talk to someone who can help you.

Please continue to learn and take care of yourself! You are a shining star!

Best to everyone,

Ms. J & Ms. Bonnie, True2U Mentors


Hey Scholars!

I have to hit you with the DAB first and now I am speaking to you!!!

Never forget who you are and where you came from.

Do not allow your circumstances to dictate your life.

Always know and understand that in life there are going to be positives and negatives;

Like a battery…..You must have Balance.

Always remember to try; NOTHING BEATS A FAILURE BUT A TRY!!!

Follow your first mind and never second guess yourself EVER!!!

When in DOUBT DON’T DO IT!!! If you are not sure if it is GOOD or BAD JUST DO NOTHING AT ALL!!!


You can do anything you put your mind to…..The SKY IS LIMITLESS!!!

Do not let anything STOP YOU; not even YOU!!!

I see you often out in the Neighborhood and will always be here for you






Fare Thee Well

Thank you! The energy and sharing that each participant brought to every meeting were consequential, impactful, productive, and fun… For everyone; mentors and staff included.

Remember! Wherever you attend high school, the achievements result from personal effort. Seize the power to be your best you. Hone life’s evolving expertise with important decisions to make good choices….For others and the future. True2U’s six steps are a reliable guide until you create your own.

Say Yes! Be courageous, the strengths and advantages that you learned about from Naviance questionnaires are developed, improved, and advanced when used in positive adventures… often, outside of your comfort zone…many times, with friends hanging back.

Focus! When you give yourself the full high school experience, your community has a vision to assist you in opportunities for higher level skills, rewards, and responsibilities.

There will be FEAR! Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise?

Stay the course! I believe in and depend on your finest dreams. May you walk through this world and know its wild beauty all the days of your life.




Hannah Gibbons

Dear 8th graders at Hannah Gibbons-Nottingham School,

We hope you, your friends, and family are healthy and safe during these unprecedented times. It’s hard not to be able to see the people you care about, but please continue social distancing, stay at home, and wash your hands often.

We are sorry that the True2U mentoring sessions had to end so abruptly. We have enjoyed learning more about you and watching you grow as you learn about yourselves and make the important decision of where you will go to high school next year.

We’re sure you now have a whole new appreciation for going to class! Please stay focused on finishing your 8th-grade year strong and put yourselves in the best position possible to start a new path in high school.

Best wishes,

Ms. Sans, Ms. Walter, and Ms. Darrell

Harvey Rice

Greetings Harvey Rice 8th Graders!

I hope you are staying safe and not going too stir crazy from being cooped up inside. Hopefully you’ve been able to adapt to the home-learning environment, are settling in to a routine, and find some moments of joy in these trying times. Who knew our True2U session in February would be the last time we were able to see each other?

Given that, Girish and I wanted to take a moment to let you know that we truly enjoyed spending time with you this school year and are saddened our monthly visits were cut short.

You are all smart, inquisitive and engaging students who I’m sure will go on to accomplish wonderful things (as long as you put in the effort!) It was a delight spending time with you each month and please know that as much as we worked to broaden your horizons about future education plans and careers, we also learned from you.

We are sending over good vibes and positive wishes that you finish the school year strong, have some fun this summer and start your high school careers strong in the fall.

Craig and Girish


Hey Scholars!

You all have been a pleasure to get to know and we wish each of you the best over the summer and in your first year of high school.

We will miss playing the staring contest during breaks. We know they will do well and accomplish their goals in high school and beyond.

Much love from Ms. Kristen and Ms. Leah


Dear 8th graders at Iowa-Maple, greetings from your True2U mentors and hope you’re all staying healthy and happy!

2020 ended up in an unimagined way for all of us!  Someone recently made an observation that in no time in history has almost every human on earth been thinking about the same thing and wishing for a recovery from the same crisis.  You all are part of history in a different way 😊  Try to remember your graduation from Iowa-Maple and transition to High School as unique!

We had fun working with you as we jointly explored the power of Individual Thinking, your personal brand, your goals and the many options for a career and life.  Stay true to what you want from life given your unique skills and capabilities.  Hope you all picked a High School by March 13th 😊

Wish you the very best as you start your 4-year HS journey.  Focus on the right balance of friends, education, and recreation.  Your Tracker can be a good resource as your journey to work after HS or college for more academics.


Tom Kula, Ramnath Kuthoore, Tyrone Hunter

Joseph M. Gallagher

To the 8th grade students at Joseph Gallagher School:

It was great meeting all of you and getting to watch you grow throughout the year and it was an honor to be able to help prepare you for your next steps. Remember to trust yourself to make good choices. Stay focused on how to grow and stay healthy and there is nothing you cannot work though or achieve.

Good Luck!

Matthew Russo


Hi guys – it’s been a pleasure getting to know you this year and I wish you nothing but the best moving forward. Your futures are bright, good luck next year! Remember it’s never too early to start planning and preparing for your future, no matter what age or stage of life you’re in!

Heather Kinaitis


Hey Scholars!!

It was truly a pleasure to work with you this year as a True2U Mentor.  I enjoyed getting to know each of you. I am sad that we were not able to say farewell face to face, but I hope you all are staying safe and healthy! Please remember the things that you have learned about yourselves and the skills you have.  There is nothing that you cannot do if you put your mind to it.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!!

Mrs. Rogers


Dear Class,

I hope this note finds you all safe and healthy. COVID-19 came into our lives unexpectedly and as a result we weren’t able to finish our sessions as scheduled. I miss you guys!

Please remember to utilize those unique skills, strengths and talents each of you have to complete this academic year and the years to follow. For those of you who identify as being interpersonal, caring, or relating this is a great time to express your strengths to connect with family and friends. Discoverers, future thinkers and organizers can take this time to prepare for life after quarantine. You are fully equipped to come out of this situation and experience continued success in high school and beyond.

Wishing you all the best,

Diamond Adams


Dear Gallagher 8th Graders,

Thanks for giving me and the other mentors a chance to step into your classrooms this year and talk about your futures. When I started the year with True2U I was nervous. But you all made this one of my favorite experiences of this past year. I looked forward to visiting your class and working with you each month. I’m sorry we couldn’t finish the year together. But in the time we did have, I got the feeling that you’re ready for high school. You have a lot of support from teachers, administrators, family, and friends. Thanks again for this opportunity, I look forward to seeing where your future takes you.

Mr. Matt


Dear True2U class,

A year to remember! I love you and miss you. Your 8th grade year is ending but 2020 is just the START for you. Life is only starting to unfurl and bloom before your eyes, even if you seem stuck in the mud and missing being together with friends, family, teachers, classmates, and activities. Even if you don’t see the tiny green buds on last year’s old branches…

Life is moving on and YOU are moving with it. AND you can always RESTART life whenever you think you have come to an end on one path you have chosen. Your MIND is the strongest muscle you have, even if you aren’t trying to use it, especially if you aren’t trying to use it, so take care of your MIND and your THOUGHTS and your SPIRIT most of all this summer and through your future academic career and professions. If you do that, you can steer your life-ship as life carries you forward through time and decide for yourself what ports you want to dock on, what seas you want to explore, what freight you bring on board, and what shipments you want to leave behind and stop carrying everywhere!

True2U set a launching pad for you, but you can still blast off in whatever direction you want and you can change the direction of your aircraft midflight. No one decision defines you. No one decision should confine you. Remember the steps to making a good decision this summer and as you start your high school career and make decisions that give you more options for you future, not less.

Look to your family members, neighbors, coaches, teachers to find mentors to develop your character, your values, and your plans. You are surrounded by inspiration if you LOOK for it. Even people you dislike can be your inspiration to not become like them in the future! So they are valuable direction signs, even if they are annoying or painful.

You have what you need within yourself ALREADY. Spend time ALWAYS, for the rest of your life, getting to know yourself better so that you can keep being True2U. Even though you will ALWAYS be changing. Life is an adventure, make the most of it so your future self doesn’t regret not trying out for fear of being rejected or cut from something, for not standing up for someone who needed an advocate, for not speaking up for yourself when you needed to advocate for yourself. YOU are WORTH all the respect and advocacy in the world, but if you don’t advocate for yourself it is hard to find someone to have your back and advocate for you.

You have my best wishes. It was such a pleasure and an honor getting to know you. May you be filled with light and love and joy and hope! Many blessings on your summer and next school year, wherever you find yourself attending, which I hope you have chosen and requested already!


Estimida estudiantes,

Les extrana y les quiero. Este semester y captiulo en su carrera academica esta cerrando pero la vida ahorita esta empezando en serio. Su vida es como las flores, abriendo en este momento. Vuelten al sol y crezca fuertisimo.

Su mente el lo mas fuerte de todos los partes de su cuerpo, aun que los muscolos! Ejercezcan su mente y su espiritu y van a realizer sus deseos, sus suenos, aun si los suenos cambien en tiempo. Uds. Son los capitones de sus barcas en la via de su vida si toquen el volante y la conduczen.

Pongan su atencion a adultos o jovenes que siervan como modelos de personaje o habilidad o propuestas similares. Y noten los modelos en su vida en que no quieran modelar su vida. Todo es su maestro/a si lo permitan.

Merezcan mucho. Tienen mis deseos mas altos. Que tengan benediciones toda su vida y su Carrera academica proxima y mas. Cambia, todo cambia. Siempe tienen el poder para cambiarse y revisar su cuento, su plan, su vida. Siempre. Tomen decisiones que abran, y no cierran mas puertas.

Usa tu voz para abogar por tus derechos, deseos, y decisiones!

Gracias por un año maravilloso. Era un honor de conocerlos. Les deseo luz, esperanza, alegría, y amor!


Rachel Napolitano

Kenneth W. Clement Boys' Leadership Academy

Dear 8th Graders at Kenneth W. Clement Boys’ Leadership Academy,

We hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy with your families at home.

We are very disappointed that we were not able to visit for the final True2U sessions this year due to the COVID-19 situation, but we wanted to make sure that you know we are thinking of you, and hoping you are finishing the school year strong from home, and gearing up for your next adventure into high school next year.

We hope you enjoyed the True2U sessions as much as we did, and that you personally found them valuable in one way or another.

We both truly enjoyed working with you, you all are great kids and we know you will be very successful in your high school and beyond. Please believe in yourself and never give up we truly blessed to meet you all.

Wish you the very best,

Tom & Sujith

Louis Agassiz

Dear Louis Agassiz 8th Graders,

Hope all of you are well, keeping your chins up and hands clean!  Unfortunately, we will not be able to complete our True2U sessions.  Thankfully, the coordinators have offered us this opportunity to connect with our students.

I want to let you know that I consider it a privilege and pleasure to have worked with each one of you.  I enjoyed the information, discussions and games we played.  I learned a lot from all of you which goes to show that you will always be learning and growing.  You are at the beginning of your journey.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

Thanks again for sharing yourselves and your time.  I wish you all the best in your high school careers.



Nancy Scherry

Luis Munoz Marin

To the ladies of group 2,

I would like to wish you and your families well during these difficult times!  It was a pleasure having the opportunity to be your mentor. I also wish you luck as you transition to High School and hope that you have all been accepted to your first choice schools.


Michael A. Pepen


Hi Everyone,

Congratulations on completing 8th grade! I hope you are doing great and are excited for the summer (I know I am). I am very sorry we did not get to finish the True2U program but I wanted to let you all know how much I enjoyed coming to your school and getting to know each of you! I had so much fun every month and appreciated how much you guys participated in the program, were always happy and willing to talk about things like high schools and what you want to do later in life. I have no doubt that you will succeed in high school and beyond! I hope you have an amazing first year of high school, but make sure you have some fun this summer. 😊

Mrs. Angela Finding


To my True2U students:

Let me first say that I hope you and your families are healthy and safe during this difficult time.

I am sorry that your last year in grade school has been cut short by this horrible virus.  My own son is out of school and “floating” as he tries to understand what his future educational pathway will be like.  All of our lives have been and are being disrupted.

I am also sorry that I was not able to attend more of the monthly sessions.  I enjoyed them a lot and I hope you did also.

I am hoping that you will use this free time to think and pray for yourselves, your families, and the world around you as you plan your future.  Hopefully there will be good things coming out of this as the summer approaches and we can resume daily life.

Good luck to all of you in high school.

Very truly yours,

Dom Ozanne

Marion C. Seltzer

To our friends at Marion Seltzer,

We wish that a proper ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’ was easier to give, but this whole pandemic thing is really throwing a wrench in things. As first year volunteers to this program, we both entered Marion Seltzer on day 1 without really knowing what to expect. You were so welcoming and through the lessons and laughs we got to share, you made us feel like part of the class. That was really special for us.

Of course we hope you got something out of it, too! You are all so gifted; each in your own unique way. You have so much ahead of you and so many experiences in store. You’re going to do great things.

Weirdly, this pandemic can be a fitting final lesson from us. Things don’t always go according to plan – adapt. Things don’t always work out the way you want – move forward. The only thing we can guarantee about your path ahead in high school and beyond is that there will be plenty of change. Take it in stride and remember, no one really knows what the future holds – so make it what you want.

Morgan and Tim


To our Marion-Sterling 8th graders from your True2U mentor team:

We are sorry that we were unable to meet with you this spring.  We hope you have been able to enroll in your chosen high school, and we wish you the best of luck this summer and next year.

Ms. Cross-Hatten, Ms Huckleby, Ms Szeltner, Mr. Crampton


Mary B. Martin

Hello Scholars!

I just wanted to wish all the 8th graders at Mary B. Martin much success in their next journey. I am so sorry our program had to end so quickly, but it was something that had to be done to ensure the safety of the students as well as all your mentors. I had a great time with you all this year, I really appreciated all the hard you all put into the program. It really meant a lot. Keep striving for greatness and remember you all can accomplish anything you dream of doing as long as you truly believe in yourself and stay focused.

Special thanks to Mr. Davis as well he is a great part of what makes things so much better for us as mentors. The kids are always ready and prepared. Thanks for all you do. Everyone please stay safe and have an excellent break. J

Mr. Jamal Gambrell


Hello 8th Graders,

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for having us in you classrooms this school year. Though the school year and all of the planned activities were cancelled prematurely, we have the moments we were given to cherish. It was heartwarming and humbling to mentor and learn with you.

B. King said, ‘The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you’.

I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and I wish you all the best for your high school journey and onwards.

Continue your pursuit of learning and ‘Believe in yourself, be strong, never give up no matter what the circumstances are.  You are a champion and will overcome the dreaded obstacles. Champions take failure as a learning opportunity, so take in all you can, and run with it.

Be your best and don’t ever, ever give up.” – Brad Gerrard

Be Safe, happy and healthy!

Michelle Benjamin


Dear 8th grade Mary B Martin students:

COVID 19 cut our time short and I know this had been a difficult time for everyone.  I know it is challenging during these times of uncertainty and students are missing out from celebrating milestones.  It was really nice getting to know all of you during our time together.  The things you have learned so far will always guide you towards a bright tomorrow. Set your goals high and always dream big. Because you’re only as big as the dreams you dare to live.

Wishing you all the very best for the future. May you all be well, safe and successful in life.


Teresa McBride

Nathan Adkins

Mary M. Bethune

Dear 8th Grade Students,

It was such a pleasure to have been a mentor at your school, even for just a short period of time.  Though I won’t be with you as you move on to start your high school years, I am sure that you are well-prepared to resume your schooling when you enter ninth grade.  I wish you success, happiness and good health.

Stay safe and well.

True 2U and love to you all,

Peggy Mendelson


To the 8th grade students at Mary Bethune,

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do”.  John Wooden

Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to complete the True2U program this year, but I hope the sessions we had together will prove to be very beneficial to you as you start your high school journey in the fall.  This year you discovered your strengths, learned about different careers, gained an understanding of how to make good decisions, and explored high school choices.  All of these things will help prepare you for high school and beyond.  The question you may be asking yourself is “what now”?  Well, it’s important for you to continue to reflect on what you learned and apply it to your life, but don’t stop there.  This information is so valuable, it deserves to be shared.  Sharing what we learn allows us to continue to grow as individuals.  It allows us to engage in conversation, which builds our communication and interpersonal skills.  When we engage others in conversation, we also learn from them.  So let’s share the knowledge we gained from the True2U program.

I know this year has been challenging.  You had to adjust to distance learning, you’re not able to see your friends in person, and you’re not able to celebrate some key milestones.  However, through all of this remember the silicone bands we gave you that say, “Courage to do anything”, “Create the life that you dream of”, “Smile to the world”, “Inspire the world to change”, “Believe in yourself”, and “Dream big”!  You are capable of amazing things.  Stay focused, work hard, respect others, be kind, remain true to yourself and have fun along the way!

I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the time we spent together this school year.  It was an honor to be a part of your journey.  I wish you the very best that life has to offer!

“Believe in yourself and all that you are.  Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle”.  Christian D. Larson

Your Mentor

Ms. Eureka Morton


I wanted to give a big shout out to my rising 9th grade students at Memorial from the True2U mentor program! It was a pleasure not only meeting you guys but getting to know you all as well. I hope that throughout our sessions you all were able to learn something from the things that we talked about in class. I hate that our time together got cut short but in the meantime I hope that you all are staying safe, continuing to be active and most of all still getting your work done so that you finish out your school year strong. As you go into the next school year, I am confident that you all will do very well. Again, it was great getting to know you and to be your mentor.

Have a safe and fun summer and take care!

Mr. K (Kisner)

Michael R. White

To the 2020 8th Grade Class at Michael R White School:

We were so looking forward to the final True2U sessions with you.  But, the school closure brought an end to our True2U sessions as well.

Hopefully, school from home has gone well for you.  It’s certainly a challenge to stay focused and concentrate on your work.  You probably also missed your friends and teachers, and maybe even your True2U mentors.  Now that we have learned that schools will not reopen this session, it’s disappointing to know that you will not get to enjoy celebrating your accomplishments and graduation to high school.

We want to thank you for allowing us to be part of your 8th grade experience.  Hopefully, the True2U sessions that we did complete helped you with the high school selection process and getting ready for high school and beyond.

We have good memories of working with your class.  Some of the things we remember fondly are:

  • The generosity of those who volunteered to hand out class materials and collect them at the end of the session.
  • The contribution you made to the list of session rules and your commitment to the rules.
  • The willingness to share with the class.
  • The creativity you used designing your name cards and tee shirts.
  • The competitive spirit shown when we played games.
  • The math skills you demonstrated with Sudoku.
  • The interest and enthusiasm shown at the High School Choice Fair.
  • The respect you always showed for Ms Hill.
  • The appreciation you showed us by asking if we could stay longer or come back sooner.

Congratulations on a great year and working through challenges of the recent months.  We have every expectation that you will do well in high school.  Be sure to work hard and have fun.  Stay safe and stay healthy.

Your True2U Mentors,

Valarie Johnson, Nancy Smilaek, and Gwyn Hartman


To the most awesome 8th graders at Miles Elementary,

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to meet and work with each of you this year. I am so disappointed that we didn’t get to work together more. Each session that I came to work with you all, I learned more about you and your goals for the future. Sometimes some of you weren’t exactly in the mood to participate, but you found a way to join in and give me something.

I wanted to send you a few words of encouragement and advice in hopes that you will take them with you to high school and beyond:

  • Always put your best foot forward – you never know who is watching
  • Don’t worry about what other people are doing. If someone you know isn’t taking care of that business, that’s going to affect them. Don’t let it affect you!
  • If you need help, ask. If the person you ask doesn’t want to help, ask someone else.
  • Find a mentor, a favorite teacher, or a friend that is reaching for the stars JUST LIKE YOU.
  • Do your research. You can’t achieve your goals if you don’t know what you need to do.
  • Don’t think what you want to do now for a career will be what you want to do when you graduate high school, or even when you’re 30 years old.
  • Don’t be afraid to be awesome. Sometimes people will be negative towards you, especially if you are doing better than them. Brush it off and keep climbing.

I wish all of you the most success and happiness you can dream of. Make goals and work towards achieving them.


Tina Coleman


Dear Miles School 8th Graders,

I’m so glad I got to work with each of you this year. I enjoyed being able to see you guys each month because you guys were such a great group of students! Even though we were unable to finish out the year, I hope that the time we spent together was impactful. I learned so much from you guys and I hope you learned a lot from your time in True2U too. Each of your futures is so bright and you all have so many talents! You are going to be some of the best veterinarians, chefs, entrepreneurs, graphic artists, scientists and architects that this world has to offer (and those were just SOME of the careers you all picked)!

Please remember to be leaders and make sure that you are making the best choices you possibly can. Always keep your future in mind when making decisions and don’t allow yourselves to be pressured into anything that could derail you from your goals. Laugh and smile even when you don’t feel like it, because it will make you feel better and help you stay positive!

Finally, remember as you go into high school, that it will be super important to surround yourself with positive and supportive friends, teachers, mentors, counselors, coaches, etc. Seek out groups and teams that are geared toward your interests and make an effort to form relationships with people that are already doing things that you would like to do in the future.  Be open to constructive criticism from those that care about you, but don’t allow hurtful or negative comments from “haters,” to discourage you.

Stay awesome! Success is your only option! 😊

Thank you for a wonderful (almost) year!

Joy Welch-Bey

Miles Park

It was truly a great year working with you all at Miles Park. We have learned so much about you all. You all have the potential to succeed and will do so. We will miss our interactions with each other. I hope you all picked the schools that you wanted for your career choices. And we hope that you were all accepted. You deserve it! Best wishes to you in high school and your future endeavors. Continue to study hard. We wish you all the best!

From True2U mentors Virginia, Cynthia, Mary and Michael


To Mr. Mcintyre’s 8th Grade Class:

We’re sorry our time with you was shortened due to the pandemic. However, we enjoyed the time spent getting to know you and sharing our experiences with you.

We hope that you’ll remember what we shared and use it to make good choices and decisions in your careers and in life. The future is yours and it can be whatever you want, if you use your strengths, follow a plan and stay true to your values.

We can’t wait to see what a difference you’re going to make in the world. We’re so proud of you already!

Stay well!

Joanne, Allison, Mary Beth, and Jonathan


Dear 8th Graders,

We are so very sad that our year was cut short, and we didn’t get the chance to see you all a few more times.

The True2U sessions that we had were so much fun.  We truly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you, and will treasure the time that we spent with you all!!

We want to wish you the best of luck in high school, and beyond! Follow your dreams, keep working hard, and stay on a good path. While in high school, keep in mind the Say Yes Cleveland program, and go to college tuition free!!

Each and every one of you has the opportunity to make a difference in the world. We hope that we made a difference in your world!!

Very Sincerely,

Mrs. A, Mrs. M, and Mrs. T



Thank you for your warm reception and interaction with the True2U mentors this school year.  I enjoyed your exuberance and honest feedback about the program. I wish you much success as you move on to high school next year.

Vicky Walters


Dear Eighth Grade Students of Mound School,

I’m sure when you started your 2019-2020 8th Grade school year, none of you imagined it would ever end like this.  Although our True2U time together was cut short due to the virus, I just wanted to wish all of you the best of luck and good health as you go forward to high school in the fall, hopefully.

You are experiencing a historic time in America and in your lives right now, and it will be something you will be able to tell your own children someday.

Again, I wish you all the best of luck over the next four years in high school.  Work hard, study, listen to your teachers and parents but most importantly stay True 2 U!

Best Wishes,

Chief Kenneth L. Ledford, EFO, CPM.


Good Morning Students,

I want to thank all of our eight grade students for the opportunity to be their Mentor this year.  I was saddened as I am sure most of you were that we would no longer be meeting as I enjoyed our time together.  It was a true pleasure to meet all of you and be a part of your school year.  I believe I learned a lot from you all and I am hopeful that you learned a little from our team.  As you all look to the future and your move to high school please reflect on your ultimate goals of where you would like your life to take you.  Each one of you has a multitude of talents and the hard part is picking the talent that will help you be successful and matching that talent with a career choice.

Your school year may look very different next year creating different challenges for each of you, but you certainly are a resilient, creative and talented group.  I will remember my time with you fondly through our different games and lessons, but most of all through our one on one conversations and interactions.

Enjoy your summer and whatever happens next year meet your challenges head on, listen to your gut, make good choices, be your own person and simply do your best.


Cynthia Kriz


Nathan Hale

Dear 8th graders,

I want to thank you all for being such a wonderful group. This was my very first time being a True2U mentor and I really didn’t know what to expect. I only knew that I had a mentor partner that would navigate this experience with me.  Well as you all know, the other mentor was only here once, so there was our first adjustment.  Some activities work best if you had a second mentor, but that didn’t stop us!  We navigated the material and accomplished each lesson.  Then this pandemic happened and closed the schools.  It saddened me that I couldn’t finish this program with you all because I really looked forward to seeing and interacting with all of you each month.

I hope that you all picked the high school you want to attend, and remember to stay focused on your goals and dreams at all times.  I really enjoyed my time getting to know each one of you and wish you the best of luck and success as you move into high school and beyond!

Have a plan, (just like we did) but things happen, so be open to making adjustments when adversity comes your way and you will still be successful!!!

Ms. Erica


To The Best of the class this year,

We were together long enough to make a lifelong connection goes life. We knew that you all was so ready for the next step in life, so now is the time to know yourself, Trust in God and embrace the future.

We are walking with you and never, ever think that you are alone. When you walk across the stage to receive your diploma we will be somewhere in the crowd saying “Well done”!!!

We love you more than you will ever know.

Mr. Cotton


Future Leaders, leaving Nathan Hale,

I hope you are taking care and trying to stay healthy during this strange time we are living in right now.

We wanted to reach out and let you know how much we loved working with you this year with True2U. I know it was sometimes boring, sometimes fun, sometimes a little crazy, but I hope you learned something about yourself and thought about your future.

For me, the best part of True2U was when you guys spoke up and let us see who you really are. That’s when we could really see your greatness. We are adults who care about you, so we have some advice!

Remember that you that YOU have a lot of control over how your life unfolds. So in high school, push yourself to do well, and continue to figure out who you are and what interests you for a career. You can always change your mind, but come out with a plan. Try not to get distracted by things that can take you off your path of greatness.

Enjoy your time in high school!

Julie Snipes-Rea


Class of 2020 Congrats!

I am so very excited and happy you made it!! 🙂

Through every step you take in life there’s an order of identifying a path you may take or create goals. Never give up on dreams and plans through hard times. Know that the new light of ideas you have can always shine; you are the light. And if there are times when you question your ability because you’re misunderstood, stay positive and understanding. Knowing that some people may not know and can’t see yet, what you could change as an innovator.

No steps will ever be perfect the ideas you have in your minds and hearts will change, like so many things. Continue to be thoughtful in planning and setting goals and never give up on your dreams. Whatever the steps you decide to take, remember these 3 F’s; keep faith in you, keep your focus, and finish. 

The sky is truly the limit as long as you believe anything is impossible. Never give up on hopes and dreams and let your education provide you with the knowledge that gives you strength and power to accomplish your future success. I wish nothing but greatness and joy to every one of you.


Katrina Robinson, True2U mentor

Newton D. Baker School of the Arts

It was great meeting each of you. Continue to make good decisions so you can live your life to the fullest without regrets… High school rocks!!!

Be safe and enjoy what’s ahead 😊

Mrs. Marcelyn Saxton & Ms. Alicia Moore


Dear NDB’er:

We wanted to take this opportunity to wish you success in high school and beyond.  We enjoyed our time with you and we are sorry it had to end so soon. We were looking forward to some more fun icebreakers, games and hearing about your final high school selection. I’m sure this is not how you thought your 8th grade year would end, but we hope you are making the best of it and finishing strong.

Oprah Winfrey said, “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.”  This is a true statement; and you hold the key.  So, set a goal of high school graduation.  Work hard, play hard, but keep a healthy balance between the two.  Be real, be relevant, be righteous (Dee-1) and be responsible, be kind (Mrs. English/Mrs. Favorite).  You are amazing and capable of achieving amazing things.  Best wishes for a bright future.

Mrs. English & Mrs. Favorite

Oliver H. Perry

Dear Scholar:

I’m sad our True2U journey was cut short this year. It was a privilege to get to know you through this year, and help you think about your future. I hope you are proud of the strengths, gifts and talents you discovered in yourself this year, and I bet that you are counting on them now more than ever before. That’s what growing up is all about.

You are a very special person. There is only one like you in the whole world. There’s never been anyone exactly like you before, and there will never be again. Only you can be yourself in the world and find your calling, fulfill your purpose. Your own unique way to be great for yourself, your family, and our community. I look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood and on down the road as you finish your growing up time.

As you make your way into high school and beyond, know that my love and prayers are with you always.

Erin Randel


Greetings 8th Graders-

First and foremost, congratulations on your well-deserved success! While we are all adjusting to the new normal and our lives as we once knew them have greatly changed, this is still a time to celebrate and acknowledge a pivotal milestone for you. We would like to leave you with a few reminders as you take on this next phase: “Know your own heart. Follow your dreams. Be fearless. Make a difference. Be courageous. Take chances carefully. Ask questions. Make every moment count. Find your passion and pursue it. Give yourself grace. Stop to help someone. Shine your unique light. Celebrate every day. And Be TRUE TO who YOU are.” Wishing you much strength to face the challenges and wisdom to pick your battles. So happy to share in the excitement of your graduation day, and so very proud of you, too. Have an adventurous journey!

Your mentors:  Ashley Watson & Kay Jones-Williams


To the 8th grade students of Orchard S.T.E.M School,

Though our time together was cut short, thank you for your participation in the True2U Program and the opportunity to work with you to uncover your strengths and passions. We hope you take what you learned from the program and put it into practice to achieve your goals in high school and beyond. Remember to always do your best and not give up on yourselves. Discipline and hard work pay off. Surround yourselves with people who support you, and remember to ask for help when you need it. Your future is in your hands. Dream big!

Wishing you all the best,

Domingo, Julie, and Jessie


Hey True2U Scholars!

Sarah, Michelle, and I are so grateful to have had the sessions with you folks that we did.  Despite our first session being pretty chaotic, I think we got used to each other, and we appreciate how you folks took interest in the activities.  While we hope that all of you are in high schools next year where you are comfortable and able to grow, even more we hope that you’ve learned some lessons about good decision-making.  Each of us has a life full of decisions.  I’m sorry that your school year has been interrupted.  My 8th grader and high school junior are both studying from home as well.  This will be a year that none of us ever forget!  Wishing all of you a bright future.

Your True2U Mentors,

Bryan Hall

Michelle Bennett

Sarah Schlicher

Patrick Henry

Hello 8th Graders,

We hope this message finds everyone and their families in good health and safe.

We miss seeing all of your smiling faces and busy activities monthly at Patrick Henry.  We hope you have continued to select your best high school choice. Those who scheduled auditions and interviews, we know you were successful.

We hope you have remained positive throughout this pandemic.  We know sometimes unexpected events happen, but we will get through this together!

We challenge all of you to remember some of the “Kind Actions” in the bag we used to pull from:

  • Read to someone younger than you
  • Tell someone something nice about themselves
  • Say Thank You

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time”

– George Bernard Shaw

Best wishes in your future goals,

Ms. Dee & Ms. Brenda

Paul L. Dunbar

Hello young adults!

I am so sad that we will not able to finish the True2U program with you, but am glad we got through what we did with you!  You are an awesome class!  And will be even more awesome in high school!

It has been my pleasure, and an honor, to work with you.  Best wishes as you head to high school, and beyond!

Rosanne M. Rosenberger


Paul Dunbar 8th Graders:

I’m sad that we could not end our year with an in-person celebration but I am confident that each of you have the skills, attitude and support you need to transition on to high school this fall. Finish the 8th grade strong in your new online environment. There is always an opportunity within each challenge and I know that each of you will persevere! Stay safe and healthy!

Mentor Mrs. Lisanetta McDade


To the dynamic 8th graders at Riverside School…

Jackie & I have been honored, humbled, and blessed to work with such an inspiring group of young people! Although our time together has been cut short, we know from watching you grow that this setback will only make you stronger. Author David Viscott maintains that “You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.” True2U is more than a stepping stone…a boulder…a mountain…climb up and see the purpose of your life and discover your gifts!

Thank you for letting us be a small part of your next journey!

God be with you.

Jackie Seedhouse & Marita Leachko

Robert H. Jamison

To my fun, energetic 8th graders!

I sure have missed being able to be in the classroom each month with all of you. If you’re like me, maybe you thought going to school wasn’t always fun, but then when you couldn’t go, you realized that you miss it and seeing your friends.

I know you have picked your high school and are ready to start that next chapter in your life. High school has so many opportunities for you that I hope you’ll take advantage of. Remember to do what you have to do so you can do what you WANT to do with your life.

Wishing each of you and your family’s health and safety!!!

Ms. Laura


Dear 8th Grade Students at Robert Jamison School-

We wanted to send a quick email to say what a pleasure it was to meet and get to know all of you.

Although our True2U program finished not the way we had intended – hopefully you learned some valuable things about yourselves and your unique learning styles.

We wish you all continued success with your high school career and life.

Thank you for being such a fun group!

Best of Luck – your mentors,

Lori Frankel

Heather Schlang

Laura Vexler



To the 8th grade students of Robert H. Jamison, while I am disappointed that COVID-19 robbed of us of our opportunity to continue to learn and get to know one another, I am appreciative of the short time we had together. I enjoyed your humor and learning about your professional aspirations. While your aspirations may change over time, there is one constant that will remain, and that is “work ethic.”

If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you can accomplish whatever goal(s) you set for yourself. It is also important to remain confident when your faith and belief in yourself is tested. Unfortunately, these times will happen more often than not, and your work ethic and mental fortitude are what will allow you to overcome. In our short time together, I noticed how intelligent each of you are, even when you doubted yourself. Confidence in yourself can take you a long way.

Be yourselves! There is a uniqueness about each one of you that is unmatched. You are all leaders in your own right and do not be afraid to exhibit those leadership qualities and skills. There will be times when following the crowd or the trend is the easy thing to do. Selecting great friends and a support group who holds you accountable, even when you do not like what they are telling you, will be essential to reaching your potential.

Lastly, congratulations on completing the 8th grade and being promoted to high school.  I hope that you all were able to gain entrance into the high school of your choice. While, high school will bring new challenges, there is no doubt in my mind that you all are prepared to face them head on. Reach for the stars and even if you do not succeed, you will land on the moon.

Best wishes,

Leon A. Harris III, Ph.D.


Hello Class!

We pray that all of you are feeling well today and that you and your families have peace in every aspect of your life.

It is disappointing that we didn’t get to finish out our year together. However, we are grateful for the sessions that we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time. We are so excited for you to manifest the things that you all aspire to be, and have no doubt in our minds that if you commit to yourself, the things that you want will come. Keep pushing to use those gifts and strengths that you have to create your own sense of comfort during this uncertain time. Whether it’s dance, music, drawing, sewing, writing, reading, organizing, or communicating, there’s always a way to bring solace to yourself and others.

We’re sure that being a student during this quarantine is strange, but keep fighting through the boredom and un-comfortability. Please give your best to EVERYTHING. Remember that handling your responsibilities and showing up for yourself is a version of self-love. You are highly intelligent, creative, personable, and valuable to the world. The “future you” is counting on the choices you make today. So, if you want to live the life that you want tomorrow, you’ll make the choices that you DESERVE today. You are capable of ALL things. And remember what Ms. Jackson said about friends: don’t spend your time planning your life around the person you like or that you think you’re going to be best friends with forever. There’s a 90% chance you probably won’t even talk to the same people in 5 years because everyone evolves at some point. So, keep making the choices that best serve YOUR purpose. Go to the high school you want. Surround yourself with the friends that actually accept you. Pick the college that fits you. Choose the hobbies you like. Get out of your comfort zone. But most importantly… Be Yourself! Good luck on everything! Salute to the future High School Class of 2024 and the College Class of 2028!


Ms. Ashley Jackson and Ms. Sherrie Tolliver

Robinson G. Jones

To the 2019-20 True2U class:

It was my pleasure to meet and mentor each of you this past school year for the True2U program.  I am disappointed that we were unable to complete the last two sessions, but situations like this coronavirus are serious and we have to live our lives differently to survive the challenges before us.  The good news is that each of you have the potential to face challenges like this and discover or develop workable solutions.

We had a number of activities and exercises that hopefully helped you learn about your strengths and interests.  We also hope that you learned about the vast variety of careers and jobs that are available to you.  I trust that each of you were able to choose the high school that best fits your career interests and your personal situations.

And lastly, during our first session I played the song Firework by Katy Perry.  When you hear this song, please remember the three key points in her lyrics:

  • “There’s a SPARK in you” ( your strength),
  • “You just gotta IGNITE the LIGHT” (your journey to develop your strength), and
  • “Like a LIGHTNING BOLT, your heart will GLOW” (show the world your success).

I wish each of you a successful finish from the 8th grade and “Good Luck!” for your high school days and beyond.

Your Mentor, Mr. Herb


To the 2020 8th Grade class of RG Jones,

I would like to start by saying thank you for allowing me into your classroom and giving me the opportunity to work and interact with you. I enjoyed our True2U sessions and would look forward to them each month. Unfortunately, the program had to end early with the transition to virtual learning through the rest of the year and we did not get an opportunity to say goodbye in person. However, I am extremely confident that you have the ability to work to your individual strengths, improve in areas you would like to grow, and apply the steps learned to continue to make good decisions. I know the social distancing can be tough at times but please try to stay encouraged. Hope each and every one of you, as well as your families, are safe and healthy. Good luck to each of you on your journey into high school this fall!!

Mr. Brandon White


Hello everyone in Mr. Cobb’s True2U team!

I hope you are doing well and staying safe during this once in a lifetime moment of challenge for our country and our whole world. I want to take a moment to say how much it has been an honor to work with you this year to talk about the unique gifts you each bring to your school, neighborhood and to the world, and how those gifts and talents are needed by the rest of us!

Mr. Herb and I have enjoyed the activities, discussions, and sharing this past year and have appreciated getting to know you and what your hopes are for high school and for the future. You are about to launch into high school and follow your path and we are excited for you! Remember there are many ways to be smart, from people smart to math smart, to being strong at music or poetry or reading. You each have talents to be discovered and developed and remember that spark that you have to ignite and share!

It is really difficult right now for so many people. You are not able to see your friends in the same way or have school in the same way. All of our lives have been turned all around but we all have a part to play in responding to this challenge. From the doctors and nurses all the way to the janitors and cleaners who take out the trash and keep the buildings safe and clean. Even those of us who may not work in a hospital, we have a part to play by doing social distancing, staying home and staying safe so that those who are most vulnerable in our society can be okay.

We encourage you to look around and see how you can help someone else during this time. Here is one of my favorite quotes: “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Be creative in ways you can enjoy your spring and summer by getting outside and enjoying the fresh air, trees and flowers! Wishing you peace and all the best!

Mr. Ian

Your True2U co-mentor


To Mrs. Fischer’s 8th Grade Class,

I just wanted to say it was a pleasure mentoring all of you this past school year.  In addition, assisting you with selecting a high school and introducing all of you to careers that you may one day become.  I just want to say you all have greatness in you.  You can be anything you set your mind to and know the sky is the limit.  Remember do not put yourself in a box or allow others to limit you from your full potential.  Thank you for accepting being stuck with me, helping me grow as a person, and letting me be your mentor. I am so proud of all of you. I can’t wait to see what you all do next.

Best regards,

Ms. Lusane


Although our time together was short, I hope you were able to take something away that you can use as you move on to High School. I wish you all great success in your future endeavors during this time of transition and uncertainty. Make the necessary adjustments, stay focused and continue on the path to your awesome future!!

Be kind to each other and Stay safe.


Ms Marcie


Dear 8th grade students at Sunbeam,

We are writing to wish you all the best this summer and with your high school experience. We hope you will take something from our True2U experience that will support and assist you as you further your education.

We really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and get to know each and every one of you. Each of you in your own unique way taught us something as well. We are confident that you all will be successful in college and beyond.

Although this isn’t what any of us anticipated for the ending of the school year, we trust you will continue to explore and remain curious.

All the best,

Nailah, Bobby, Margarita, and Shai

Thomas Jefferson

Dear TJINA students,

I’ve truly enjoyed working with each one of you. Unfortunately, our monthly sessions had to end early before we could finish the year’s curriculum. While I’ve missed working with you, your health and safety come first.

I trust you continue to follow thru with your teachers and learn as much as you can.

Please stay healthy and safe.


KC Hemdanie


Dear 8th grade students at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers,

First I would like to say it was a pleasure getting to know you all! Unfortunately our time was cut short, but I do want to send you this message:

  1. Please remember my personal favorite lesson about the importance of making good decisions. A decision made in one second can effect a whole lifetime.
  2. Think about all the opportunities you have within reach and try to take advantage of each one of them. Cleveland Metropolitan School District is an amazing place to be for college and career readiness. What you put in is what you’ll get out.
  3. Never give up on your dreams. The only time you fail is when you give up so stay focused!

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the best in your new chapter. Stay positive!

Take care,

Rosie Larrea


Queridos estudiantes de Thomas Jefferson,

Primero, quiero decir que fue un placer conocerlos. Lamentablemente, nuestro tiempo se acortó, pero quiero enviarle este mensaje

  1. Por favor recuerden lo que hablamos acerca de la importancia de las desiciones, muchas veces hacemos malas decisiones que nos afectan toda la vida.
  2. Piensen en todas las oportunidades que tienen a su alcance en Cleveland y trate de aprovechar cada una de ellas, usen el sentido común y toda su sabiduría para decidir que quieren lograr en la vida
  3. Nunca te rindas en tus sueños. ¡La única vez que fallas es cuando te rindes, así que mantente enfocado!

De todo corazón les deseo lo mejor del mundo en su nueva etapa estudiantil. Adelante siempre positivos, con ganas de luchar y triunfar.


Rosie Larrea


To the 8th graders at Thomas Jefferson Newcomers Academy:

I want to thank you for welcoming me and the other mentors into your school this year. While we didn’t get the chance to complete our time together, I truly enjoyed meeting each and every one of you. For those who are leaving TJNA for high school next year, I wish you the best of luck. It will be a new experience but I know you will accomplish great things on your journey. For those who will be staying at TJNA, maybe I’ll see you around the hallways next year! Remember the great lessons we learned about making decisions and the fun we had getting to know each other. I feel lucky to have had the chance to meet each of you.

Best of luck in what is sure to be a bright future!

Teri Harrison (Miss Teri)

Tremont Montessori

Dear Tremont Montessori True2U students,

We miss you! We are so disappointed that we have not been able to continue our True2U sessions. But we are also happy that you are keeping safe and healthy from the coronavirus. Protecting ourselves and each other is the most important thing right now!

Even though we didn’t get to finish True2U together, the time we did get to spend with you was really fun for us. And you will be able to keep forever many of the things we learned … things like knowing your personal strengths and setting goals.  We enjoyed getting to know each of you, and we learned so much about what makes you UNIQUELY YOU! We really loved hearing about your dreams for the future.

Speaking of the future, there are a lot of things we DON’T know right now. But one thing we DO know is that you are ready for high school and you are going to be great!

Your friends and True2U mentors,

Heather and Summer


To the Tremont True2U All-stars,

It has been an honor working with you, getting to know you, and to see you step out of your comfort zones throughout the school year. I am so grateful that you shared with me your dreams and hopes for the future, and I hope I’ve done well to support you in reaching toward them. You are all amazing! I’ve had so much fun, and I hope you did too. I know finishing out the school year during this crazy pandemic has been difficult, but I have faith in your strength, resilience, and ability to persevere. As you move into your freshman year in high school, I want you to remember a few things:

  1. Know your values. Whether it’s respect, kindness, or the discipline to show up and do your best every day, know what is important to you and let those values lead your choices, actions, and behaviors. I promise you, it makes life a lot easier.
  2. Remember your strengths, and lean on them while you face new challenges. You are all good at something and have unique talents to offer.
  3. Set long-term goals, and keep your eye on the prize. It is easier to do better in school and not get distracted when you know what you are working toward.
  4. Keep up your GPA. (This is based on your grades) A good GPA has the highest potential to get you into a good college program, get scholarships, and start the career you want. And it all starts day one of your freshman year.
  5. There is ALWAYS someone out there rooting for you. Your parents, teachers, friends, siblings, and True2U mentors. We all want to see you succeed! When you get to high school, reach out to your counselors or the College Now adviser if your need any help with exploring careers, finding internships or shadow opportunities, setting goals, or finding which college is right for you. Whether you want to be a diesel mechanic, environmental scientist, electrician, or an engineer, (or maybe you just don’t know yet!) they are there to support you turning your dreams into reality.

I would say ‘good luck,’ but I know you don’t need it. You got this.

Wishing you all the best.

Miss Jess

Valley View Boys' Leadership Academy

To the young Men at Valley View Boys Leadership Academy, It has been a real privilege to work with each one of you young men. You all have such character, vibrant personalities, and abilities that you made our monthly visits very enjoyable. You were attentive and open to the material presented, and you made us feel welcome each session.

The main-focus of True2U is to help you learn more about yourselves, your opportunities in high school, and the possibilities available to you in the years to come. We hope we were able to impart some of this along the way. You are all gifted in special ways making each of your journeys very different. This difference allows one to become an engineer, one to become a doctor, and one to become a police officer. Embrace your difference for there is no one like you. Use it to change the world for good.

Unfortunately, this school year took some unexpected and unusual turns. One of us mentor’s lost our father part way through this program. The world is embroiled in its first pandemic in over a century, causing your physical school year to be shortened, and supplemented with online technology. These are part of the events that mold and shape each one of us.

First, we want to say: “Thank You!” for letting us be part of your life. Second, we want to wish you all the best for the remainder of this school year and into high school. Finally, we want you to know that we believe great things will come to you when you pursue them with passion and with your unique gifts that will take you to amazing places. Not only are you special now, but your future looks incredible too.

All the best to you,

Mr. Jim Liggett & Mr. Michael Hammer

Wade Park

Hi Students,

We hope you all are doing well and staying safe and continuing to practice the teachings of myself and Mrs. Tinsley through our sessions. We miss you all dearly and am very much sad that we were not able to conduct our last sessions and hear the choices you’ve made in high school. We hope that you have made the best decision for your family and more importantly for yourself. This is not the end of your journey, this is the beginning and we are excited to see where your future goes. We will continue to be a resource for you when you need us and thank you for the incredible memories.

Thank you,

Austin Kirkland & Jacqueline Tinsley



To my students Chyniyah, MacArthur, Jace, Janiah, Chanel, Tysean S., Ty’Shaun T., Tommel, Kya, & Ni’Shaya:

Just a quick note to say THANK YOU for allowing me to have a WONDERFUL first year experience as your True2U mentor!! It was great to meet and get to know every one of you and learn your different personalities, goals & dreams! 😊

I want to wish you all much success as you transition to high school! I have no doubt that you all will ace the next 4 years with flying colors. Hopefully, our paths will cross again one day. Continue to LEAD and follow your heart and make GREAT DECISIONS!!!! Good Luck and Stay Safe!

Best Wishes,

Ms. Curry


Dear 8th Grade Students at Wade Park,

It was truly my pleasure to get to know each of you during True2U. Though our time together had to be cut short, I hope you came away from our sessions with a better sense of self and tools to help move you forward in your journey. No matter what high school you chose in the end, know that you are capable of great things. New places and experiences can be scary at first, but as we shared with you in class, they can also be the perfect environment to learn and to grow. You are intelligent, creative, kind, ambitious, and the world needs all that you have to offer. Remember to lift and inspire someone else along the way. Be good to yourself and each other. I wish you much success in high school and beyond!

With much love and best wishes for the future,

Devin Patterson


To all the 8th grade student students at Wade Park School,

I just want to take a moment to farewell and Best Wishes to all of you. I know the way this school year ended was not the way you wanted to see it happen, but you have to remember that this too shall pass!!!  You have so much to look forward to in the coming years. Even though we did not finish the school year out, I feel we had enough time to learn a lot of things about high school, hopefully your new school, as well as each other this year.

With this COVID-19 situation, I know it may have you worried some but no matter what, still look forward to high school. As well as life!  Still make good choices, still look at your strengths, and make them stronger! Look at your weaknesses, and make them better. Focus on what you want to do and learn to work your vision for your future. Keep exploring who you are and keep your values and improve on them daily, weekly, monthly and ALWAYS MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION!!

Stay cool and stay focused as much as possible. WITH GOD’S GRACE, YOU WILL AND CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THIS!!  Your future is as good as you make!!  Always try to make good choices. It was fun working with you all this year. And Thank You Ms. Powell for all your help and cooperation. Best wishes for you all in the exciting new adventure called High School!!  Be Blessed!!

Mr. Barry Brooks


Hey Guys!

I just wanted to say that I miss coming to see you guys so much! I hope everyone is home safe with their families and keeping up with your school work as much as possible. You all will be headed to high school next year so make us proud! I know that you all will go on to do great things. You guys are smart, intelligent, and AMAZING. So do well make us proud and hopefully one day we will all see one another again!

Take care and good luck!

Tiffani Jones


Warmest good wishes from Miss Eileen and Miss Sharon from True2U

We’re so very sorry not to finish the year with you and see you readying for your transition into high school.

We are so grateful for our shared path with you throughout the school year. Always remember that you have much to bring to your own development, and to the community around you.

Take good care, always.

Miss Eileen and Miss Sharon

Your True2U Mentors


Hello 8th Graders at Walton Elementary,

My how I have missed you all, and hope that you are truly doing the best that you can during these times of isolation. My words of congratulations may come at a time when you are feeling them to be a bit – bittersweet – and that is okay. You are transitioning on into high school during an era unlike any other, and should be proud of yourselves.

I hope that you and your families remain healthy, and remember to stay grateful for each day. Maybe take a little time to help someone around you who might be struggling. Have strength, compassion and mercy for those around you. This is a difficult time for so many people and I want you to know that you are not alone in what emotions you have been feeling. Many of my feelings started out as confusion, sadness, loneliness and frustration, but have begun to morph into feelings of faith, mercy, compassion and most of all hope. Hope for a better tomorrow that includes you all paving the way.

You are the future of this planet, and I am proud of the resilience that I know each one of you has been quickly required to build during this time. Resilience is a trait that under normal circumstances takes years and many experiences to build, but due to the circumstances, I am certain that you are all lightyears ahead of where I was at your age. I applaud you all for the self-identification work we were able to do together before the pandemic, and wish you the best of luck as you transition into high school.  Keep the hope, and be there for one another. Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay well.

Sincerely yours,


Warner Girls' Leadership Academy

Hello Queens,

It has been an absolute honor being with you all.  You’re beautiful spirits and excitement for our sessions were such a blessing to me.  You are all exceptional ladies and you have such great opportunities ahead of you.  I was so impressed when we met to go over your school choices -You all had done your research and were so focused which shows me that you’re already on a path for success.  I encourage you all to stay positive, work hard, and keep yourself surrounded by positive people.  You possess unlimited potential-Please believe in yourselves the way I believe in you!!

Mentor, Kim Cummings


Dear Ladies of the Eighth Grade at Warner,

I miss you all very much. I pray each of you is safe and in good health, as well as your families.

While we did not get to complete True2U this year, I hope what was taught will stay with you throughout your lives.  Remember, everyone has multiple strengths and interests.  Use your strength test results as a guide.  When you have decisions to make, think it through.

I also hate we were not able to finish our contest for the “Most Respectful Award.” I’m sure you were all working hard towards it. I do hope each of you continue to practice being respectful individuals. Respect yourselves, respect your parents, and respect your teachers and your school. Remember, to receive respect you must give respect.

I hope you each enjoy your high school years. Study hard. Learn as much as you can. Try new things and make new friends. Each of you has great potential. Strive to be the best YOU that you can be.

I love you all.

Mrs. Laquita Taylor


Dear 8th grade students,

Congratulations on your Graduation Day from Warner Girls Leadership Academy!   It’s been a huge pleasure to work with you over the last few months.  I’ve certainly missed our True2U sessions.  I miss coming into the school and working with you, watching you grow, and hearing all the new things you’ve accomplished and learned.  I’ve learned as much from you as I hope you learned from all the mentors who were there for our sessions, Ms. Taylor and Mrs. Cummings.  How strange this year has turned out to be!  I hope you enjoyed the online classes.  Most of all, I hope that you and your families have been able to stay healthy and safe throughout the 2020 shutdown.

You’re on your way to high school now, you’re the class of 2024!  Good luck in the next four years and study hard!  I realize that we missed out on hearing which schools you’d been accepted to, and whether you were able to go to one of your top 3 choices!  I’m sure you’ll be successful.  All the skills you’ve learned with True2U, and with the online classes, will serve you well as you move on to high school, college and then out into the workplace.  Focus on your goals, work hard, find some activities you enjoy and have fun making new friends.  Don’t be scared to challenge yourself and find some creative ways of exploring future careers, whether it’s by working on the school newspaper or by doing volunteer work in the community.  I’ll definitely look forward to hearing about all your successes and adventures as you move towards your future careers!

Congratulations again!  Wishing you all the VERY BEST for the future!

Mrs. Mastromatteo


To the 8th graders at Waverly Elementary,

I miss you all and suspect that you are missing each other during the crisis.  As Waverly Warriors, you learned to always be your best selves, no matter what is thrown at you.  With an attitude like that, you can overcome this pandemic.  I hope you and your families are safe and healthy.

I enjoyed working with you this past year.  Even though we did not complete the last two sessions and you missed the wrap up program, you have learned more about your particular skills, dreams and goals for the future.  As you move on to high school, build your plan to achieve your vision of who you will be in the future.

As you scatter to high schools across the District, you will have the opportunity to make new friends and develop the additional skills you will need to fulfill your career dreams.  Take full advantage of that opportunity.   I will miss seeing you progress as you move toward a high school diploma.  Let your Waverly teacher know how you are doing.  I would love to hear what schools you chose.  Remember to grab every opportunity to be the leaders that you are meant to be.  Be proud to be a Waverly True2U scholar.

Rich Spinner

Whitney M. Young Leadership Academy

To Our 8th Graders in Cohort Group 3:

What a privilege to have been afforded the huge honor and opportunity to meet and mentor some great 8th graders from the Whitney Young Gifted & Talented Leadership Academy. A lot of people and sources were put together to prove that so many people believe in you and know you are worth putting our best efforts and resources behind you!

You proved to be alert, engaging and even fun. The experience of learning was not only for you, but for me as well. Thank you. You guys were swell… collectively and individually!

It was easy to care about each of you and to admire your ambitions. As you have already learned, you are among the change agents for your generation. Please stay inspired and ever-focused toward your life’s achievements.

Yes, things are changing… and will change… and you will bring leading components to help make those changes for the better: Better for you, your families and your community. Remember the True2U mantra: “YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN”.

I am proud to know you. Stay safe & be blessed.

Your Mentor, Mrs. Donna Stovall (Ms. Dee)


Dear Whitney Young 8th graders,

I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. I’m sorry that we had to end the program so soon due to the unfortunate circumstances in today’s world. Even though your school year inside the classroom ended quickly and abruptly, I hope you all are able to channel your energy in a positive manner to the schoolwork made available to you at home. Know that these changes were necessary to keep you all safe. Distance learning is not ideal and may present various challenges. It may become overwhelming and frustrating at times, but you Can DO IT. YOU GOT THIS. You all are very bright, smart and motivated individuals who I know will do great things in the future. High school will be challenging but if you remain focused and keep your end goal in mind nothing is impossible. You can achieve the impossible.

Remember, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”- Nelson Mandela.

I Wish You All the Best,

Ms. LaShanita

Wilbur Wright

Wilbur Wright 8th graders,

I hope you are all doing well.  I have been keeping busy working from home.  I think my dog and cat really enjoy the extra company!

I wanted to personally reach out to all of you and say thank you for your involvement and participation in each of our monthly sessions of the True2U program.  The time I spent with you each month was fun, educational and life changing.  I miss not being able to be there the last couple of months of the program but keeping everyone safe is an important priority right now.  I hope that the time we did spend together learning about your strengths, careers clusters, making good choices and learning more about you and who you are as a person, will help you on your way to your next scholastic adventure of high school.

As you move forward onto this new path in your life, remember to have fun, try something new and be good to yourself and others.

Warmest regards,

Denise Slivers


Dear Fliers:

We’re terribly sad that we didn’t get to opportunity to finish taking part in your True2U sessions and learn more about you and your aspirations for high school and beyond. We were looking forward to learning what decisions you had made selecting high schools and what you hoped to do when you became freshmen.

We’re sorry that you couldn’t celebrate the end of middle school together. This should have been a time for parties with your families and friends, to look back on your memories together, and to share your excitement about the adventures ahead of you. Time with your friends and classmates, graduation, saying goodbye to your teachers at the end of the year has been a lot for you to lose. We hope it will have been worthwhile and that lives have been saved because of your shared sacrifice.

In middle school you were, and in high school you will be, students of history.  You will learn about the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, Garrett Morgan and MLK. You will learn about the ordinary women and men who fought for freedom from Gettysburg to Selma. We hope you recognize that you are a part of that history, with as much a right to the world’s story as the people you read about in your text books. No one can take from you the fact that you have lived through something extraordinary, that your efforts are extraordinary, and that you are extraordinary.

Good luck in high school and all your endeavors.


Peter & Olivia

William Cullen Bryant

Dear Young Ladies & Gentlemen:

I am pleased to take this opportunity to address you, though I would far have preferred to deliver a proper farewell and good luck to you in person at the school year’s end.

It may be regrettable that you will have to forego a formal graduation ceremony, but the circumstances will forever make the completion of your elementary education unforgettable – and, hopefully, unique to this year. I extend my congratulations to each of you on your achievement. I hope you have some time to enjoy it this summer and that the current situation and its constraints have sufficiently improved to enable you to advance into your high school years in a more conventional manner.

The subject of my next scheduled visit to your class was to have been about interviewing for jobs. I was looking forward to that. I typically would recommend a nice, firm handshake – but you should hold off on those for now. Let me just say, try to learn about any place at which you seek higher education or gainful employment. Expect questions such as “Where do you hope to be in five (5) years?”, “Describe a situation in which you (had to exercise leadership/deal with an unexpected problem/disagree with someone) and how did you handle it?”, and “What would you say is your biggest weakness?” Plan to provide thoughtful responses. Asked the last of those questions once, I said “I’ve been told I can be wordy.” They asked if I had worked to improve that. I said, “Yes” and stopped cold. After a moment, my interviewers laughed. I got the job.

I wish I had had the chance to speak with each of you one-on-one. I want to take a moment to repeat and expand on some of the advice I tried to give several of you for high school.

Put in the time on your studies. Good grades are to a significant extent a function of the organization and use of time. Wherever your Grade Point Average lands, don’t let it be for want of effort. Get involved in activities. Schedule time for them and find time to expand your education beyond the book learning. Find ways to enhance and enjoy this experience.

Going through four years of high school may seem like an eternity right now, but in the future it will seem like the blink of an eye. Try to keep that in mind if something seems like the end of your real or emotional world. It isn’t, don’t let it be!

Most of you are fourteen (14) or thereabouts. On May 11th I will hit the big 6-4. My high school years started fifty years ago! They remain some of my favorite, with some of my most vivid memories. I hope you all make it to 64, I will either be working on the record for age or long gone by then!

You’re going to be doing a lot of growing and even while that’s going on you’ll still have a lot more growing to do. Make smart choices. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There will be plenty of time for adult things when you come of legal age. Don’t yield to peer pressure to do things you may regret later. Be careful once you start driving. Don’t do anything illegal! Keep yourselves alive. I may sound like a scold but I mean it and if I sound like a parent I can’t help it, I am one!

Be nice to the people you meet. Don’t bully and don’t let yourself be bullied, report that if you see it, it’s not right. Find ways to be polite with everyone, even if they don’t do the same in return. Find friends worth having and be one yourself. I still get together with friends from grade school, but some of my best friends to this day are ones I met in high school.

I could go on but, being a man of few words, will have to be satisfied to leave many things unsaid. I enjoyed getting together with you young ladies and gentlemen and getting to know you a bit. I hope you enjoyed my company and will perhaps have a kind thought of me in passing now and again – perhaps fifty years from now!

I wish you all the best.

Very truly yours,

Joe Jerse


WCB 8th Graders,

We know these are crazy times and none of us have ever experienced anything like this in our lives so it seems surreal and stressful all at the same time!!  Some of you might just want to get back to school while others are happy not to get up early! There is no “right” way to feel… and many of us have different feelings on different days.

We are disappointed we were not able to meet with you this last quarter of school and see you graduate from the program… but the GREAT news is – you are all signed up for High School!!!  Next year, you will be entering your last 4 years of school – it’s going to go very fast so take the time to:

  1. Take some courses you find interesting versus what your friends are taking
  2.  Join a club!
  3. There will be a lot of new people you will meet and your friend group might change a few times…it’s okay! Just make sure your friends have the same values you do.
  4. Remember how you learn and study and use that to help you study for quizzes, tests and mid-terms/finals.
  5. DO NOT just start to study for your mid-terms/finals (remember, this is a test given in December for all material covered in the 1st semester and then the final is in the spring for all of the material you covered all year) the day before the test. You will not do well and these tests represent a large portion of your grade.
  6. Get up and go to school every day! School is important for your future and while there are many things not in your control… this is one thing that is! Make good choices.

We loved getting to know each of you and we know you are all going to do great things!!

Thank you for being respectful. We had a lot of fun and we hope you did as well. 🙂

Kim and Patrick


Willow School 8th graders,

This has been a very hard spring for many reasons. We are especially sorry that you are missing all of the best parts of graduating from 8th grade.  We are sad too that we weren’t able to finish our True2U sessions with you.   In the time we did have together, you learned about your strengths, about different careers that might interest you, and about how to make good choices.  By now you have your high school set.  Next year may be full of different challenges than we expected, but you have the skills to make it we know!

We were honored to be able to spend time with you through True2U this year, and are sending you our very best wishes for a successful and fun high school career.

Ms. Marie Kittredge

Ms. Lauren Gliha

Ms. Meagan Coggins


To the amazing eighth graders at Willson Elementary,

We are saddened by the fact that we could not finish out the year with all of you through the True2U program. Know that we have been thinking about you and hope you have settled into a new normal at home. Don’t let this roadblock overshadow how far you’ve come. You made it this far. Don’t stop now. Finish out the school year strong and know that you did your best in a situation that is the opposite of ideal.

We enjoyed learning with all of you and getting to know each and every one of you.  You are all very special and we know you will be successful not only during your freshman year of high school, but in all the years ahead. Have confidence and believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Treat people with respect and kindness and they will do the same for you. We hope you were able to learn and grow from our time together.

It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye without being able to see you, but we wish you all the best and hope you all stay safe and healthy!

Ms. Tanya, Ms. Tana, Ms. Irene and Mr. Tom