The Chivers’ story…
I was a senior at Pinkston High School, fall of 2000, when my counselor called me down into her office and said a Pastor over at a church in West Dallas was offering scholarships to college to seniors if we would only tutor a few 5th grade students at this new “fancy” school off of Bernal St. I quickly accepted the offer and wrote a hurried, sloppy, handwritten essay on why I would like the opportunity to tutor students at their school. I didn’t even know the name of the school and I honestly didn’t care. I just knew my mom couldn’t pay for college and I needed that scholarship badly. Little did I know God in His infinite wisdom was laying the foundation for a divine orchestration in my life. Each day for 7 months, I tutored and tried to teach those 5th graders, but in reality they really taught me. And not just academics, because even though I was nearing graduation and preparing to enter college, their rigor of coursework excelled my coursework.I was absolutely NOT smarter than a 5th grader! But those 5th graders introduced me to the best kept secret in West Dallas. They were polite, compassionate, focused and organized. They had routine and structure. And they knew Bible verses! I never thought being organized or practicing Scripture was a skill or could help me excel until I came to West Dallas Community School as a tutor! After completing my tutoring I was awarded a scholarship, went off to college, and like most students who receive a scholarship, never thought to stay in touch.
But then God blessed me with my first born child, a daughter, Jada Chivers. When she became school-aged I jumped in my car with her father and drove directly to WDCS. It was like I wasn’t even driving. I don’t even remember the commute. God lead me back to WDCS and me and my children are blessed because of it. I remember sitting in the chapel scared out of my mind because Jada, 4 years old at the time, was testing for admission. I almost got up and walked out because of fear. And then I heard Mrs. Howard’s voice say, “I want to welcome everyone here and let’s start with a prayer.” I knew then this school was unlike any other! All of my tutoring memories came back to me and I knew this is where Jada needed to be. Seven years later, God is still using this school, the faculty, and staff to bless the community of West Dallas and WDCS students and families.
WDCS has been with my family every step of the way. From me marrying my high school sweetheart, giving Jada two siblings, buying our first home and graduating from college, to my recent divorce. We have walked hand in hand through this thing called life. It’s almost impossible to understand how they have met the needs of me and my family. Most times without even being aware of the specifics. Our family hit a rough patch and before I could even talk with my children’s teachers, I received a call asking would I like for my family to participate in the Shepherding program. I reflect back and try to see how the school could know what was going on inside of our home. There was no way possible for them to know all of the pain and hurt we were enduring. I now know it was again God’s divine hand. God and WCDS placed our Shepherd Family, The Fergusons, in our life. We have been walking “Hand in Hand” (Mrs . Ferguson signs each and every email with this signature) with the Fergusons for over 5 years. My children lost their father through the divorce but gained 5 new wonderful extended family members. My children are able to see Gods love manifested in each visit we have with the Fergusons. They take time to pray for us and fellowship with us. We have some of the best family times with them. They sacrifice their time, talents and treasures with our family and we are able to see the greatest gift we could ever give is one that can never be repaid. And this experience started through WDCS.
I could write a book on WDCS and how this school and its mission has and continues to enrich my family’s lives, but this scripture stands out to me most when I think of this school.
God has declared to me and continues to show me that WDCS is a vital part of Gods plan for my family to prosper us, to grow us. This school gives me and my daughters HOPE: hope in God, hope in my community, hope in my children’s future, and hope that my daughters will know, value, and do what is good, right, noble, lovely and admirable. WDCS has given my daughters a chance at a bright future.