Theresa Collins

Ellie Wharton, Writer

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In the summer before senior year, the pressing need to apply to college began to increase substantially. In my case, though I love to write, I had no idea where to start with my essays. Questions formed in my mind such as: “What do I talk about? What are my interests? What aspect most profoundly shape who I am? Who even am I?”  Suddenly any form of self awareness disappeared. Fortunately a woman named Theresa Collins – an English teacher at Francis Parker – stepped in and helped guide me through the process.

Though I was nervous to meet with her and start such a journey, my mother reassured me by saying, “Don’t worry, I know her mother and she’s the best, so I don’t expect any less of Theresa” and she was right. Theresa wasn’t just there to edit my essays, she acted almost as a therapist for me. During our first meeting she asked questions to get to know me and inadvertently I poured my heart and soul out to her. That’s the kind of person she is, instantly trustworthy. In just an hour, she knew me- what I loved, what I hated, what made me anxious, and what made me feel safe. She knew who I was. At the end of our first meeting she specifically diagnosed what my personal statement should be about, “you love your grandma and you find peace in nature. Connect the two and show how it describes you.” After being clueless, everything was suddenly clear.

At the end of eight sessions, Theresa had become a friend, a confidant, and a creative outlet for me. She is one of the kindest humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and this Black History Month, she deserves nothing less than to be recognized for the minds she inspires and the lives she’s changed.

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The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.
Theresa Collins