I am Sonya Stephens and I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I attended Mark Twain Elementary, Wilson Middle School, and I graduated in 1991 from Southwestern High School the same year as former professional basketball player Jalen Rose, who attended Southwestern High School as well. Right before I entered high school as a freshmen my father was murdered on my birthday. I really thank God for my family and the teachers I had at the time. They kept me on the right path and they made no excuses for my situation. I was still expected to do my work, and be respectful to myself, my teachers, and my peers, because I was told that is what my father would want me to continue to do. My teachers always allowed me to take breaks or go home early if I needed to but my work was always expected to be done. I always kept a job during high school so I did not go straight to college. I decided to work the three jobs I had, one as a part-time cashier/stock clerk at K-mart, my seasonal job at the main post office in downtown Detroit, and the job I had as a babysitter for several children that had special needs. The job I had as a babysitter was more rewarding to me so I began to take my work with Special Needs children more seriously and I went back to school part-time at Henry Ford Community College, and after I graduated I began working for Childtime Daycare. I worked there for 2 years as an childcare assistant then I was promoted to a lead teacher. I knew I wanted more out of life then I enrolled in Spring Arbor University and I received a Bachelors Degree in Liberals Arts. I left Childtime and I was hired at Northpointe Academy where I worked as an assistant to Ms. Abraham who was the Special Education Coordinator there. In 2014, I enrolled at Grand Canyon University to start my work on a Master's Degree in Special Education, also during 2014 Northpointe closed down and we merged with George Washington Carver Academy (GWCA). During my first year at GWCA I worked as a paraprofessional working between the 4th and 5th grade rooms. This upcoming school year I will be working towards my teaching certification in the Special Education Department. I am sure that is upcoming school year at GWCA will be very rewarding for all of us.