The Duty of Ms. D’Souza

Colonia High School's teacher, Ms. D'Souza loves math and helping kids.

Photo Credit: photo via wikimedia under creative commons license

Colonia High School's teacher, Ms. D'Souza loves math and helping kids.

By: Samantha Dobbin, Spring Reporter

Current Colonia High School teacher, Ms. D’Souza, previously worked with youth services for social services.

Ms. D’Souza has been working as a teacher at CHS for that past nine years. Since then, she’s primarily been a math teacher, until recently becoming one of the school’s first teachers for the new Tomorrow’s Teachers program. Besides teaching, Ms. D’Souza had another job as well, one that most people may not be aware of. She worked for social services with youth services.

Youth services are primarily to protect children by strengthening the capacity for self-sufficiency of families whose children’s health, welfare and safety are at risk. With this job, Ms. D’Souza said that she had worked with underprivileged kids and children in places such as foster homes, and would help guide them and provide them with the soundness they need.  She had believed that purpose of this occupation was “to give stability to children who lacked the sense of this and family.” Ms. D’Souza had done this job for nine years, until she had to stop due to a casualty with her ankle. Yet in the beginning, this wasn’t what she anticipated. At first it was simply a part-time job in college with transportation which then led to visitations which then slowly but surely led into a whole career.

Due to breaking her ankle, Ms. D’Souza could no longer work with youth services. She explained about one of her favorite things about working this job was that she like “helping these kids because it wasn’t their fault with how they were”. She liked watching them mature and grow as time went by. Overall enjoying the good feeling to help someone less privileged. Yet despite how much she may have loved this job, she had said that if she were given the chance, she would not return to the occupation, mainly because the group of kids who she worked with when they were very young are now much older. She has seen those kids grow up and even have kids of their own.

Working with a job such as this, involves many strong relationships to form. Some of which that may seem unbreakable. Ms. D’Souza had talked about how she still keeps in touch with a decent amount of kids that she’s worked with. One of which is even graduating from Rutgers University soon.

And although the relationships may be different under certain circumstances, Ms. D’Souza has also made a few strong relationships within her current job as well at CHS. A senior attending CHS, Alyssa Carlos, had commented on her relationship with her teacher and had said, “I would describe it [their relationship] as one that is understanding. We understand each other and care about each other. She has this same relationship with a lot of her other students because that’s just how she is. She’s genuine, understanding, and one of the good teachers, and the good teachers are rare.”

Lauren Milevoi, another senior at CHS, was asked about Ms. D’Souza, her initial response was “as a person, I feel like Ms. D’Souza is literally like my life coach, between helping me apply to college and future goals, to more personal things. She has a big heart and is caring…as time grew on we started to develop a really good relationship that I don’t have with any other teacher.” 

From working with youth services, Ms. D’Souza explains how it has “made me better in my current profession”. She has learned more about understanding a student’s background, because you never know what’s going on in their life. Working with youth services makes one “more prepared for the part of teaching you don’t learn about in books.”

Ms. D’Souza elaborates on how this job has impacted her so much, but even without working with youth services anymore, she herself continues to impact the lives of students in current job teaching at CHS.

The same two senior students as before, Alyssa Carlos and Lauren Milevoi, have both had Ms. D’Souza as a teacher for quite some time now, and believe that she’s changed who they are today. Both girls have had her all year as a teacher for the Tomorrow’s Teacher program, but Carlos also has her as a math teacher for Statistics now while Milevoi had also had her during her junior year as a Geometry teacher. From her experiences of having her as a teacher, Carlos had said, “I would describe her as genuine. She truly cares about the well-being of her students and does whatever she needs to make sure they are on track.” 

When asked if having Ms. D’Souza in their lives has effected them in any ways, both girls unhesitatingly gave a very straightforward answer. Carlos had said, “she has impacted my life in many ways. She taught me how to be a good teacher and what not to do. She taught me this by leading by example.” While Milevoi had said, “I know Ms. D’Souza will be one of those teachers who I will be able to go to for help five years from now and she’ll still remember me and help me”. Ms. D’Souza has not only been taught life lessons working youth services, but also continues to teach them herself everyday with her students.