Deasia Sweat is a 12-year-old sixth grader at Meyzeek Middle School, where she participates in the Family & Children’s Place Collaborative Learning After School Program (CLASP). Her life has been anything but easy, but she refuses to let it get her down. She enjoys, even celebrates her life.
Recently, she attended a Father-Daughter dance at Meyzeek, where she had the chance to spend time with a special man in her life. That man, however, was not her father. Instead, she asked Bobby Cortes, a Family & School Services (FSS) program staffer to join her at the Father-Daughter dance.
Deasia lost her father to a heart attack when she was just 10 years old. She also was the one who found him in the home after he had passed away and she hasn’t had a father figure since then.
When she heard about the Father-Daughter dance Deasia really wanted to go. She thought of the men in her life she might ask. Once decided, she said she was very nervous about asking someone to the dance but found Mr. Bobby to be the right fit.
“Mr. Bobby is funny, he helps me with my homework and plays games with me too,” she said. “He’s just really chill.”
Bobby says he felt “honored and blessed, because out of everyone she could have asked, she asked me!”
He bought Deasia a corsage and taught her proper hand and foot positions for certain dances. She did the same for him.
Bobby admits he had a great time and had a chance to see and talk to several students and parents from the program, which brought him much joy. They were able to sit, eat and talk throughout the night and being able to spend time with members from the program “reinforced that sense of community we expose our youth to in program,” he said.
Deasia said she had a great time too. She danced with her friends a lot, but she and Mr. Bobby had a chance to dance to some songs as well. Deasia said, “I feel like Mr. Bobby is a nice guy. He’s goofy and I’m glad he said yes!”
Deasia’s positivity doesn’t stop there. She makes sure that FSS staff knew she was not alone in her struggles.
“You know, I’m not the only one that’s experienced this,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of people that have gone through what I have.”
Deasia is able to offer them advice and talk to them about similar experiences with losing a parent. She tells them, “Be strong and don’t let anything bring you down!”
Her encouragement to other youth encourages us all to do better. Deasia is beautiful inside and out and we are all grateful that she is a part of our program.
Corsage Mr. Bobby bought Deasia
Deasia, left, dancing with a friend.