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In this week's #Seniorspotlight DSST: Cole Senior Iesha Essien talks about DSST staff who have helped and influenced her, lends some words of advice to younger students and talks about what she feels proud about as she has been accepted to college and is on the verge of graduation.

My advisor, Mrs. Dering, influenced me the most while at DSST. My first year at DSST, I couldn’t afford school supplies. She used the money of her own to get me what I needed for school. From that day on, she has been looking out for me and doing her best to make sure I am ok. Junior year was a very rough and challenging year. Mrs. Daring was there for me and always had something positive to say. She taught me how to stay positive, realize how big of an influence a person can have on others' and that there are really kind people in this world.  

The advice I’d give to underclassmen is to never give up. Do whatever it takes to be successful. Attend MT, ask for help from you teachers and peers and get you priorities straight. Coming to DSST Cole was a very hard transition for me because the learning material was more challenging but I did let this scare me. You shouldn’t either. I was able to do very well because I attended MT, asked for help and put school first. Hard work really pays off.

I feel proud of myself because a person with my background wasn’t supposed to finish high school. I have faced adversity back to back. People expected that I was going to give up in life. Some have  expressed these feelings. Now I have this amazing opportunity to go to college. I am proud of myself because I exceeded people's expectations. I also proved to myself that I am capable of doing great things.