MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 recently held a contest called 'Remarkable Women.' It's part of a nationwide initiative to honor women making an impact in their communities. From a plethora of entries, four well-deserving finalists emerged.
Our third finalist is Dionne Jamison and this is her story.
Inside Jamison's classroom at Andrew Douglas Middle School, you'll find a place to center yourself.
A far cry from the struggles her students often see outside those walls.
"We get a lot of students going through different things," said Jamison. "Displaced homes or have had run-ins with the juvenile court."
"They don't hear, 'I'm proud of you.' They don't hear that you did a good job," said Jamison.
But in the classroom, it's a safe environment.
"Putting them in a positive setting allows me to strengthen their self-esteem," said Jamison.
A classroom they can't wait to come to.
"They enjoy the conversations, I have them busting down the door," said Jamison.
She never thought her own story would play out like this.
"I kinda was guided here," said Jamison. "I went to school for politics and wanted to be a lawyer. But here I am teaching."
She's loving every minute of it.
But you won't find all of the lessons listed on the board -- some had to be experienced to be taught.
"Coming up, living in the projects, I'd look around and tell myself, 'this is not what I want for the rest of my life,'" said Jamison.
"I tried to let them know my personal experience and relate it to how it can benefit them," she continued. "A lot of students question what they need school for."
Breaking through hasn't been easy in the little time she's been teaching.
"I get so many compliments that I'm doing a wonderful job and I've only been teaching for two years," said Jamison.
But through some trial and error, she's found a way to really reach students during one of the toughest times: Middle school.
"My goal is to make sure they're academically ready as well as building up their self-esteem and positivity on education," said Jamison.
Jamison knows her students appreciate her, but it was Jamison's sister who wanted us all to know just how remarkable she is.
"I would just love for someone to show her just how much she's appreciated and that she sees all the greatness she has done," Jamison says, reading the nomination.
"I'm just glad she was able to do this, I feel acknowledged," said Jamison.
"We want greatness from the 53206 area code and the metropolitan areas of Milwaukee, we want that," said Jamison. "I genuinely want people to be as happy and feel as blessed as I do. I'm so blessed beyond measure."