Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wyshina's life is to be celebrated

As many of you know, Wyshina Harris was tragically killed last Saturday. She will truly be missed. Below are portions of messages that people associated with the ASA in Turner Courts have sent in. They say a lot about her life and her legacy.


I knew Ms. Wyshina from the ASA. I also remember Ms. Wyshina for her determination. Every day she always made sure we did our homework. If we didn’t have any, then she would get us some on our grade level. We always complained that Ms. Wyshina was mean. But I am an example that what she did and how much she cared did and will impact my life. Ms. Wyshina also lived in the same apartments as the ASA. So, you know she was there every day with a big smile on her face and that put smiles on everybody else’s faces. ~DaQwalon Hinton, ASA student and volunteer

I remember going to the ballgame with Ms. Wyshina. Your mom was a really great teacher. She would always make sure that I would do my homework. She would make sure that I stayed out of trouble. I would really love to start back doing “shines.” I remember when we went on a field trip and we did a trail hunt. That was a good idea that Ms. Wyshina came up with. ~Tyrece Clark, ASA student

Each time I entered the ASA, Ms. Wyshina greeted me with a smile saying, “Hello, Mr. Carmen!” Then, the other students greeted me saying, “Hello, Mr. Carmen.” She was observant and focused in what she wanted to do. She had patience, was respectful, and had a beautiful smile for everyone. ~Mr. Carmen, ASA Chess teacher

I met Wyshina when she and Janet Morrison hosted a parenting educational meeting at Turner Courts. I remember the enthusiasm of Wyshina and the whole group. They were looking to be the “best moms” they could for their kids. I encountered Wyshina on many other occasions, such as when she was helping to coordinate fundraising events for the After-School Academy. ~Deborah Lane, Dallas Healthy Start

I came to Know Wyshina through the afterschool program at Turner Courts where my son, Joshua, attended. I remember her as being a joyful, positive person to be around. I lived in Turner Courts for over four years. The first two years I was afraid to let my kids go outside. One day I saw a sign posting for an afterschool program. I enrolled my son, Joshua, into the program. When I met the staff at the center, everyone was so nice. My son attended the program for two years. Through those two years of him attending the program, our family went from not knowing anyone in the area to participating in all kinds of fundraisers and field trips. Knowing Wyshina was a blessing because she was always making the kids stay focused on their studies and teaching them how to use their manners. I remember one day I went to pick up Joshua from the afterschool program and Wyshina asked me if I wanted to play volleyball with them. I told her to let me think about it. She said, “Come on! It will be fun!” I agreed and went. That evening, I had so much fun and I was happy that she invited me. Every day that I picked up Joshua, she would go out of her way to say hello and she would ask how we were doing. She was a true go-getter, making sure all the parents participated with donating items for fundraisers and coming to the parent meetings. She was a very dedicated person to her job, family, and community. She has left nothing but positive memories for me and my kids to remember her by. ~Rosalind Henry, parent

I will always remember when Wyshina lived in Turner Courts and we talked about how she was constantly going up to H. S. Thompson school to make sure her children got a good education. She did her research, and made sure that her children’s teachers knew that she was an involved parent. I saw her as a future “Big Mama” of the neighborhood with an open door. She was a person who did her best to keep all kids on the right path. Michael Davis, Dallas Progress

My children both describe Wyshina as a caring and loving person. They both remembered her loving them just like her own children. Deshala told me that she can remember when she would volunteer, Ms. Wyshina wanted them to be responsible and show respect to the children. I will always remember for myself the person she was. She was always the same. She embraced the children and showed no difference in them. Wyshina was a very special lady and will always be remembered with me and my children. ~Talisha Tucker, parent

Wyshina Harris first struck me as such a cool, down to earth sista. I was always so impressed at the atmosphere of respect and love that she and Sylvia created and expected from the students at Turner Courts. When you walked in, the children would introduce themselves and greet you. She taught them that classy, simple, old school way that the world needs more of. ~Sista T (Tisha Crear), South Dallas Cultural Center

I will never forget when I brought my daughter to Turner Courts one afternoon for the bake sale that Wyshina had organized. Wyshina’s bright smile instantly won over my daughter, who was less than 2 years old at the time and not always open to strangers. Maddie (my daughter) quickly latched onto Wyshina, who introduced her to all of the other kids and helped her to feel comfortable around all of the “big kids.” Wyshina had that affect on people: you felt like you were “at home” with her. That afternoon, thanks to Wyshina’s exuberance, I had the chance to watch my daughter try to dance for the first time: bopping up and down while giggling with delight! Wyshina’s heart brought out joy in the hearts of everyone around her. - Jeremy Gregg

Wyshina Harris was a woman who likely had plenty of reasons to just give up on life, to quit. But, she never did. She possessed too much courage, class, strength and love for her family, her community and her God to ever give up the fight. She served and served well wherever she found herself. She was proud of her children, loved her friends and family, and was devoted to her community. She was a person who always kept looking for ways to make a difference for others, no matter how many personal challenges she faced that no one knew of. Wyshina was a genuine "community builder." ~Larry James, President and CEO, CDM

I met Wyshina a few years ago when I was doing an internship for Central Dallas Ministries. My favorite part of the week was the afternoon I spent helping out at the After School Academy at Turner Courts. Wyshina was there every day when the kids came in from school with a smile or a hug, a snack, and help with homework. She made a difference every day by being there, by being someone the kids could talk to, by being someone who was on their side. Wyshina was always there for me, too. She helped me get to know everyone, taught me what the ASA was all about, and was always someone I could ask for help if I needed it. ~Courtney Van Zandt, intern


Jeremy Gregg

A great tribute to a wonderful person. THank you for it, Janet.


A mother,lover, and friend to always be remembered.