Season of Transformation: Dezaria's Story

“Smart.” “Beautiful.” “Bold.” These characteristics are spoken by Dezaria as she observes herself in the mirror, encouraged by her mentor to describe what she sees. If you were to ask Dezaria several years ago what her self-descriptors would be, they might sound different.

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A natural storyteller, Dezaria’s words spill over each other as she chatters about her family, her dance team, her grades, and the fact that 6th grade does not have enough exploding science experiments to suit her fancy. However, both she and her mentor attest that Dezaria’s nature has not always been so gregarious. A year and a half ago when she was matched with her mentor, Kelsey, Dezaria was shy and struggling in several of her classes. “My hardest class used to be reading,” she admits. “I never got an A until this year. Now it’s one of my favorite classes!”

“I’ve seen myself change,” Dezaria offers. “In 5th grade, I didn’t like dancing in front of people but now, I can dance in front of a whole crowd. My nervousness has changed.”

Kelsey describes a surge in her mentee’s boldness, noting proudly the more recent moments of Dezaria wanting to share all the details of her school day, winning a mentor/mentee camp competition, and making it on her school dance team. Dezaria eagerly teaches Spanish words and crayon color names to her four-year-old sister, and is quick to raise her hand in class. Dezaria testifies, “Now I want to dance and be brave and show what I have to offer!”

Dezaria’s emergent personality is a testament to two things: a firm family foundation and mentor Kelsey’s consistent presence. A healthy dynamic exists between Kelsey and Dezaria’s family. Kelsey speaks gratefully about the warm manner in which she has been welcomed into their home, and Dezaria’s grandparents and mother are appreciative of Kelsey’s mentorship. Together they form a supportive team for Dezaria, cheering for her as she navigates middle school and the challenges of adolescent life.


Kelsey approaches her relationship with Dezaria with no agenda; only to love, encourage, and pray for her. In the words of Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, “Love for Christ and love of others is the driving force of mentoring; it births compassion in our hearts and compels us to action.” Dezaria’s transformation was fostered in love; a love so strong that it empowers her to be the confident, bubbling student she is today.

This season, you have the opportunity to foster positive change and give the gift of transformation.