A Leveled Playing Field by DeQuan Funny
At Teach My People we are honored to have our first high school graduate and our first college graduate, DeQuan Funny, on staff. DeQuan is our Pawleys Island Campus fifth grade instructor. In addition, DeQuan is leading our career exporation team that will launch this fall (2021) in our high school program. During his senior year of college, Dequan wrote this letter about Teach My People and The Leveled Playing Field TMP works towards.
Coming from a town where the parents pay out pocket to fund a lot of the activities that their children participate in shows an economical divide among the masses. My mother worked three jobs in effort to support me and my younger brothers as we went through school. Sometimes taking days off if we were sick. We barely scraped by. We would usually see her at least once a once week and at most two days a week because she would go from one job to another, leaving us to taken care of by our grandmother. We didn’t really have another influential adult to model. But by watching her work ethic we were taught that if you don’t do it; no one else is going to do it for you. My mother did the best that she could by feeding and clothing us and I wouldn’t be here without her support. But there was still something missing.
I was apart of Teach My People for eleven years. Which to me seemed to be the longest uphill battle I’ve ever had in my life, between school, sports, work and when I was old enough helping taking care of my younger sibling was stressful.
(2013 - Day of High School Graduation)
Teach My People was a cushion for my stress during the week. Right after school they would feed us, ask us how our day was. This meant a lot because my mom wasn’t home to ask. School was the hardest part. I didn’t pick things up as easily as everyone else did and the thought of going to college was foreign concept to me. Key word is “was”. Teach My People took us to college sporting events and tours while I was still in middle school. They had volunteers and speakers come from college and spark our interests to be better than was we were accustomed to.
To be honest it took me a while to realize what I was missing. I didn’t figure it out until my junior year of college which is crazy because it was always right in front of me. What I wasn’t receiving was exposure. When I say exposure I mean a look into the world outside of my own which was what I really needed. This wouldn’t have been possible without Teach My People. They gave me to the tools to push through and overcome any obstacle that came my way.
(2017 - College Graduation, Newberry College)
You see, what Teach My People did was to take the obvious disadvantage of the children of the surrounding area and made it a level playing field for anyone and everyone who was interested. The best part is that they made us work for it. We had to prove we wanted to be successful.
If you needed help they found it, if you were hungry they fed you, if you were hurt or felt hopeless they loved you. No other place in our area was doing that and this is was sets Teach My People apart from the rest. You’re not going to find a more committed staff that will selflessly love their student like the staff at Teach My People.
(2020 - Teach My People Summer, "Camp Outside the Box")