Written by Manysa-Ashira Remy-Walcott, Youth Intern
Recently, I was given the opportunity to interview one of Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) newest interns, Deidra Dunkley. Wow is she amazing! Born on November 3rd, 2000 in the island of Jamaica, Ms. Dunkley is currently 14 years old doing great things for herself! She loves being at home, dancing, watching action and horror movies but hates ice cream and science. Weird combinations right? In a work environment she works best with music. Most specifically Deidra is a happy camper when she feels extremely comfortable in a place and is able to be herself. Some characteristics that might describe her and her work ethics are hard-working, determined, patient, and ambitious. All qualities for a successful individual in the business world.
Don’t get it twisted though, Deidra is a little feisty when she has to be but enjoys helping people. She participates in a lot of community work managing to maintain an 87 average and keeping up with her studies. She attends Wingate Campus in one of Brooklyn’s roughest neighborhoods however combats the violence near her school by using the tools she was taught throughout her participation in the the Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO S.O.S.) When asked why she was so interested in YO S.O.S she exclaimed her love and support for the organization because she enjoys the people and the things they do for neighbors throughout the community. “S.O.S is a safe haven for kids around here especially for me” she explained.
In 2013, Dunkley witnessed a life changing event that made her gravitate to S.O.S even more. Losing someone to gun violence impacted her mindset tremendously. “I decided I wanted to make a change. I realized that people aren’t always what they seem to be and that kind of opened my eyes to see that violence is really everywhere. Two things I wish I could change in this world would be how people treat one another and how opportunities are wasted. No one deserves to die no matter what the circumstances are and some opportunities are just once in a lifetime,” Dunkely reflected. She added, “After seeing that I realized my passion was to help, respectively children. In 10 years from now I see myself graduated and on my way to settling down as a pediatrician after medical school.”
YO S.O.S. and the Outreach Workers here in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy have a mass influence over people. Stuff you see here you can’t get anywhere else. This isn’t a movie, this real life. Where else can you find this? After one mediation it may reconstruct your life forever. Stay tuned to hear the great other things that Save Our Streets and Deidra Dunkley have in store this summer.