TSCS: What year/grade did you start attending the charter school?
CC: I started attending The Soulsville Charter School in 2014 when I was entering 6th grade.
TSCS: How would you describe the workload and how the teachers and others help you?
CC: The workload can become quite a bit but the teachers and administration really make sure we understand the work and offer ample amounts of time to get the work done.
TSCS: Now that all learning is virtual for now, how has that been going? Main challenges? Have any good things come from it?
CC: Virtual learning is a challenge, yes. But, I really have been trying to take this time to prepare for the real world while still taking advantage of being a minor and in my parents’ house. I have picked up new hobbies while being in quarantine and virtual learning such as voice impressions!
TSCS: You are also in the Stax Music Academy. While we were all on campus, how long were your days at Soulsville and how did you balance TSCS work with SMA work?
CC: While being in the Academy and Soulsville I have learned that you have to balance it all but also weigh them. I have asked myself countless times “What will better prepare me for a future in the career that I want?” That’s still a tough decision and I am actively working to balance both of them and give them both 100% effort.
TSCS: How has SMA virtual learning been going for you? Do you also participate in the mental health check-ins and how are they helping?
CC: Virtual Learning for SMA has been fantastic! We actually just finished up a recording! Stay tuned for more! Also, the mental health check-ins have been really helpful because they ensure that our minds are right. We often neglect the mental health side of life, but I’m glad Stax is doing all they can to make sure we are okay.
TSCS: It’s been almost a year since you were a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres show with Justin Timberlake, who you met in August 2019 when he visited Soulsville. Can you tell us what it was like to get to know him and work with him?
CC: Getting to know Justin Timberlake was phenomenal. I can’t even imagine where I would be today if it wasn’t for his ingenuity and authenticity. Justin is literally the epitome of what it takes to be a successful artist. He now, whether he knows it or not, is a spiritual mentor for me. I don’t know if and when I’ll be able to see him again, but Thank You Justin Timberlake for everything you have done for me!
TSCS: What was the experience like of being on Ellen. I know they surprised us all, especially you!
CC: Ellen DeGeneres is one of the biggest talk show hosts that we have today. Being on Ellen literally was a dream come true. I used to watch her every afternoon after school in elementary school. She is a wonderful human and I also thank her as well for considering the Stax Music Academy and me for such wonderful things!
TSCS: How has that experience changed your life?
CC: That experience gave me more confidence. I am now able to be me and not worry about what people may think of my gift.
TSCS: How are you coping in general with the COVID crisis?
CC: COVID has been a scare for me. It seems like every month the virus gets closer to me. But, I am still taking precautions and keeping myself safe.