aage: 38 | Associate English Professor | Texarkana College
“Everyone deserves a champion.” These words that Alonza Allen-Mitchell heard a speaker say during a TED talk are exactly why she chose teaching as a profession. “All students, regardless of background, need someone who is invested in them, someone to advocate for them, love them, hold them accountable, show them how to dream big, but most importantly, sees the potential in them,” she says.
As a young mother, Alonza remembers praying that her daughter, Kendyl Myers, would grow into a responsible and intelligent young woman. A recent graduate of Texas High School, Kendyl also has an associate degree from Texarkana College. “I prayed that she would make better choices than some I have made,” Alonza says. “God answered that prayer and then some. She is my greatest achievement.”
Best piece of advice:
“GIVE IT TO GOD, FOR HE WILL DO ABOVE AND BEYOND ALL WE CAN ASK OR EVEN IMAGINE, SO PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING, AND WATCH HIM WORK IN YOUR LIFE.” – LOIS ALLEN, ALONZA’S MOTHER
Alonza loves seeing her students’ lives come full circle. She enjoys getting the unique experience of teaching both high school students and college students. “My greatest professional accomplishments are being selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to attend a conference on celebrating effective teachers after being nominated by Texas Teacher of the Year, Monica Washington, and being asked to join the TC family.”
Married to Shaun Mitchell, Alonza loves to read, spend time with her family and travel. “I am an Army brat and grew up living in different parts of the world, so visiting new places is just in my blood,” she remarks.
Alonza is an avid supporter of community colleges. “Attending community college for many students, will enable them to create better lives for them and their families,” she admits. “Here at TC, students receive a holistic education. From a food pantry designed to help our students in need to great academic and workforce programs, I just feel blessed that I was selected to be a part of this team. God has truly blessed me with some amazing opportunities.”
A volunteer tutor for high school and college students, Alonza is also a Race for the Cure® contributor and participant, annual United Way contributor, helps provide student scholarships, member of the Freeman Chapel Methodist Church, Texas Community Colleges Teachers Association, North East Texas Alliance of Black School Educators and Drive By Scholarship Foundation.
Name something about you that very few people know:
“My sister and I sing. (She is better.) While some people have heard me sing the National Anthem, musicals are the songs I grew up listening to. ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘West Side Story,’ ‘Carousel,’ ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ you name it, I am pretty sure my sister and I can sing the entire soundtracks. As you can imagine, this did not make us cool at all!”