Learner Spotlight – M’ma-Syrai Williams-Tabu
M’ma-Syrai Williams-Tabu, an eighth grade learner with iLEAD Exploration, is an unassuming, soft-spoken, and kind young woman. But don’t let that fool you, as she is also a force to be reckoned with! Her interests are wide and varied. She enjoys acting, singing, dancing, and storytelling. She also plays piano and drums, and is beginning to learn the guitar. M’ma-Syrai has been an avid reader since she was young. Her favorite genres are sci-fi and fantasy.
M’ma-Syrai is also an activist. Her passion for activism brought her to speak in front of Herb Wesson, L.A. City Council president, about human trafficking, when she was only 8 years old. Currently, M’ma-Syrai “aspires to work with organizations for homeless people.” Mma-Syrai is “coming up with a plan to make pouches with everyday necessities for people in need. She wants to participate in feeding the homeless with the L.A. mission.”
M’ma-Syrai is a foodie who enjoys exploring the many different cultural cuisines that one can find in Los Angeles. In the future, she plans to “travel the world to sample food while running a catering business as her main source of income and continuing to act.” One of her proudest accomplishments is portraying Tiffany Cochran in “American Crime Story: The People V O.J. Simpson” alongside Courtney B. Vance, and directed by John Singleton.
How does she have time for all of this? I’m not exactly sure. But if you think she couldn’t possibly fit anything else into her schedule, you’d be wrong! M’ma-Syrai has been taking community college classes every semester since the beginning of sixth grade and will have completed all of her coursework for her associate’s degree soon. She does struggle with memorization, retention of math facts and foreign language vocabulary. However, her innate determination and constant review help her with this challenge.
Last, but definitely not least, she shines as an incredibly thoughtful and nurturing big sister to her little sister Ella. M’ma-Syrai was one of my first learners when I started as an EF, and it has truly been an honor to watch her grow and thrive over the years.
Written with admiration by her educational facilitator, Maggie Pulley