A special thanks goes out to Atlantic City Councilman-at-large Mo Delgado, who passionately ran another successful year of his annual Thanksgiving food drive for families in need. And much appreciation goes to theJFS Emergency Food Pantry, which, just in the month of October alone, fed a total of 171 people including 42 children.
I also feel that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to people making a difference, and one woman is doing so within her classroom at the Texas Avenue School in the Atlantic City School District. Her name is Lori Lenziand she not only teaches her first-grade students how to be academic champions and great citizens through respect, but her mission is to make them aware that through proper education, their dreams can be obtainable.
“I want my students to know that you get out of life what you put into life,” she says.
Lenzi’s passion for being good classroom and school citizens comes from her desire to fight bullying. She understands the negative effects it can have on children and will not tolerate it. Her class just made a “Respect Mural,” which is an interactive writing piece defining respect and consisted of her student’s artwork of anti-bullying symbols. Her top priority is to teach her first graders to be friends with each other by sharing and providing different activities that cause each child’s skill set and talent to shine.
Understanding one’s talent is something Lenzi relates to on a personal level because at 17 she moved to New York City to pursue a singing career. Two years later, she signed a production deal with producers Full Force, and soon after signed a record deal with DreamWorks record label (worth more than a half million dollars) in Los Angeles.
Things were going well. However, after recording an album and touring with the Disney-affiliated label, the company thought her album content was too risky. Lenzi couldn’t sing anymore about issues she couldn’t relate to — songs that didn’t come from her heart — so at that point everyone went their separate ways.
A little while later she married, got pregnant and later divorced due to many hardships, including abuse. But the pressure of being a single mother gave her strength to pursue her passion of switching gears and becoming an educator. Her desire to teach children was equal to her passion to become a role model for single mothers and show them that a person can pursue their education and career while raising a child successfully as a single parent.
“I am a woman’s woman and I have a heart to guide young girls in the right path towards success, independence, and education,” she says. “I love being a teacher, and, of course, I love being a mom.”
This spring look for her new album entitled Break Out, which is about her journey of walking victoriously. Shine on Ms. Lenzi!
Whitney Ullman dishes out advice on various topics related to networking, dating, current affairs, shopping, events and more. She is the Founder of GoToWhitney.com.
Whitney is an on-air multimedia personality, and works behind the scenes helping businesses gain extra exposure, through her WIN Promotions video production services.