Chemere Mathis


Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there. They are there to teach you a lesson, serve a purpose, help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way. There are times things will happen to you that may seem horrible and unfair, but upon reflection you find that without overcoming these obstacles you would have never realized your true potential, strength, will power and heart. Ms. Giesha Stevens has had a significant influence on my life. 

Ms. Giesha Stevens is the executive director of The Master’s Commission of Greater Grace Temple. During the summer, The Master’s Commission hires 12-15 young adults between the ages of 14-19 to work in real world corporate worksites. I have participated in the summer youth job training program twice, (2010 and 2013 summer). First time becoming a part of the program, I was disruptive and disrespectful to my mother by making jokes and irreverent comments. Believing Ms. Stevens was focused on instructions, nothing would be heard but I was wrong. She would quickly stop giving instructions, correct my actions and continue with instructions. Being accustomed to mending myself and allowing others to praise me for my good deeds, I took her correction personal and thought of her as mean. After, experiencing a few weeks of the program it was apparent that she corrects everyone. It is meant to better ourselves. Eventually, it became clear that what was being said was not meant to be taken personal nor would it harm you but instead benefit our character as a whole. 

When I returned to the program (the summer of 2013) I was familiar with the program objectives. Ms. Stevens stressed that I would not come into the program like everyone else. She immediately promoted my status from an intern to a program assistant. Becoming a program assistant came with more responsibilities. I was challenged to begin “Donuts and Dialogue” on Professional Development each Friday. Often times I would think about how to interact with the interns to help motivate or influence them to do better or how to encourage them to have energy early in the morning. Beginning to doubt I could accomplish the task given, Ms. Stevens was there to encourage me to become the “Morning Temperature” who is the person to motivate the interns to smile, get filled with energy, remove them from their comfort zones of not being social and engage them in formal conversations. She also stressed the importance of talking with confidence even if you are unsure of the answer. 

I prepared myself to take all the advice given and put it into action and realized “Donuts and Dialogue” was easier than I thought. Ms. Stevens also taught me to plan ahead and to go above and beyond the call of duty. I established a schedule that would allow me to come early and leave late. Additionally, I began to note my long and short term goals and put them in effect to be accomplished. With the help of Ms. Stevens I’ve increased my leadership skills, put my fear and pride to the side and now I’m ready to take on any task.

When it comes to being influential, people like Ms. Stevens are essential to becoming a successful adult. Working alongside her I began identifying realistic goals and using time management to achieve them. I have learned to accept constructive criticism because it helps increase my knowledge and skills by allowing me to obtain more options of approaching a situation. Now I began to try before I began to doubt myself. Furthermore, I have realized the importance of having leadership qualities and I search for ways to continue to strengthen them.