Introducing Corissa Dixon ’19, YWLS Member

The future Dr. Corissa Dixon is practical. She is polite and measured in her responses to my questions when we first meet in an administrative office on the campus of Chicago Tech Academy, her high school. Corissa has the type of beauty that you know can only come from within. Her eyes are bright and focused. There is a determination about her that is intense even among our light-hearted conversation. I get the sense that she has a voracious sense of humor – I wonder if she gets that from her mom, who raised her. So I ask her, “What makes you laugh?” Corrisa responds with a sly smile, “My mom, my brother, and my younger niece.” I can tell by the way she talks about them, that her family is incredibly important to her. “My earliest and happiest memory is looking out at my kindergarten graduation and seeing my mom and dad there smiling. I caught on even then, that the graduation ceremony was all a show instead of an important celebration, but it made me happy to see them out there looking at me,” says Corissa.

Corissa is a senior at Chicago Tech Academy. She lives in the Austin neighborhood which is a bit of a distance from the school. Her mother asked her to attend ChiTech because it was a safer alternative to her neighborhood schools, even with the distance. She traveled each day with her brother because he went to an all-boys school located across the street. Corissa speaks carefully, in a way that makes me believe that she is older than 17 or at least wiser beyond her years. Corissa has decided that she will attend Jackson State University in the fall on the Pre-med track. She loves babies and is drawn to how a child is born – she wants to be an OBGYN.

As part of ChiTech’s commitment to real-world experiences, Corissa works at AT&T through Genesys Works as a billing operator. She truly enjoys the relationship she has with her co-workers. I ask her what type of hobbies she has only to learn that she works a lot. “It is my way of getting out and being with the people I like. Half my paycheck goes into savings immediately and the rest toward a bus card and Target,” she laughs.

Our conversation feels like two little old ladies sipping tea and talking about their lives, families and the weather – it’s warmer in Mississippi than in Chicago, which Dr. Dixon is looking forward to when she heads off to college. Just as we’re about to wrap up our tea time, Corissa tilts her head and states practically, “If I could do high school all over again, I would have always surrounded myself with the right people. I want people to remember me in years to come as helpful and there when they needed me.”  And just like that, Corissa was paged by a teacher who needed her help.

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