You may already know that Ms. Christiana Cobb-Dozier is a positive force at Resolute Academy, providing resources, awareness, and support for mental health and social-emotional learning, but did you also know that she is a published children’s book author? We asked Ms. C-D to share a few thoughts about her path to Resolute Academy in her own words. Read on to be inspired by Ms. C-D and don’t forget to stop by our Culture Room to learn more about the counseling program.
When did you know you wanted to work in education?
It took me a while to know that I wanted to be in education, but I believe the idea came to me when I was working with college students in a nonprofit organization. I mentored those students as they navigated the successes and challenges of college. In my work, I had the opportunity to get to know these students and hear their stories. We discussed and worked through issues such as navigating friendships, working through conflict, time management, asking for help, and planning for the future. Many of my students expressed gratitude for the support and space to have these conversations and work through these issues in college, but wished they had developed some of these skills prior to entering college where they were expected to have already had some of these tools. I was then interested in seeing what it would be like for me to be in a position where I could do similar work in helping students solve problems, prioritize their mental health, and increase their self-confidence and awareness. I had a journalism background and hadn't previously considered school counseling, but as I did some research I thought it was the perfect career move.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was one of my college journalism professors, Professor Craig. I always appreciated Professor Craig for his humor, kindness, and constant support. He pushed me as editor of the school newspaper and encouraged the inner leader that I didn't even realize was there. He was a constant advocate even going so far as to nominate me for scholarships and always willing and ready to write letters of recommendation.
How does Resolute Academy's mission align with your personal values?
My favorite part about being a school counselor is the opportunity to work with all students as they navigate toward the best versions of themselves. Similar to Resolute's mission and vision that all students can learn and we need to equip students with the academic skills and strength of character to navigate middle school and beyond toward the high school and college of their choice; I am set on creating a school counseling program that prioritizes social-emotional integrity, equipping scholars to increase their social-emotional intelligence using empathy to understand the differences of others and a growth mindset to understand challenges as opportunities for growth. This builds the leaders of tomorrow by engaging thoughtful, meaningful relationships and embracing academic rigor to prepare them for secondary education through to career. Also, I personally connect to Resolute's WATTS values (woke, accountable, tenacious, thoughtful, and strong) seeing them as values I live out in my personal life through promoting social justice, prioritizing mental health, working through challenges, and having compassion.
What do you love most about your role?
I love working with students. I think kids have such a fresh perspective on the world and it's really a pleasure to just be with them as they navigate the world and all the ebbs and flows that come with growth and development.
What else would you like us to know about YOU?
I am also the author of the children's book "Racing for the People" a story about Olympic runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their stance for justice. In addition to my work as a school counselor, I really love to write, and being able to publish a children's book has been a dream come true!
About Resolute Academy
Resolute Academy equips students in grades five through eight with the academic foundation and strength of character necessary to excel in school and in life. As a free, college preparatory, public charter middle school located in the Watts community of South Los Angeles, we are proud to be part of the fabric of the Watts community and we harness the hope and forward-thinking that abounds here. Enrolling grades 5-8 tuition-free today!