Where Are They Now: Twanasia Graves, Class of 2022

By: Marketing & Communications Team
October 28, 2022

Category: alumni | caring | celebrate | college | high school | leadership | middle school

We work hard to keep close connections with our alumni, not only so that we can support them along their educational and career journeys, but also because their journeys are one of our greatest inspirations as we continue investing in the lives of future leaders each year.

This month, we spoke with Twanasia Graves, who came to Inwood Academy in 5th grade and graduated with our most recent cohort in the Class of 2022. Twanasia participated in just about every sport possible during her eight years at IAL, eventually serving as a counselor at Inwood. She is now in her first year at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL studying Exercise Science and playing on the Basketball team. Twanaisa is still close with all of her Inwood mentees.

“I now feel like I can succeed wherever I go.” -Twanasia Graves, Class of 2022

Q: What motivates you to mentor younger students?

A:“Having a listening ear is important, and I feel like a lot of people now don’t have that. Even though I haven’t had as much experience as adults have, I still have experience with things that they may be going through now that I can help with. At first it was just school, and I would check in on them weekly, daily when I’d see them after school, and sit down with them at lunch if I could. Then it started to become more personal; they would come to me for more personal issues, like relationships, parents, literally anything, and they would be comfortable to talk to me, ask for advice or just a listening ear. They started bringing their friends until there was a whole group I mentored together. Then COVID happened, so for two years, it was a little rough. But they still had time to come to me, because it was a struggle.”

Twanasia maintained close relationships with her mentees throughout the pandemic, and she keeps in touch with them regularly from college. She also shares that the pandemic was a setback for her personally. When she returned to the building in 2021, quarantine had affected her motivation for school and even sports. But her relationships at Inwood Academy helped her stay connected through that time, and eventually she found her motivation and inspiration return to her fully, even stronger than before.

“A lot of the staff at Inwood academy were mentors to me, have some type of bond with me that helped me through middle school and high school. My relationships at IAL–with my coaches, teachers–were actually the greatest things of…probably my whole life.  So even though I felt like the pandemic was a setback, I now feel like I can succeed wherever I go.” 

Q: Do you have anything you’d like to say to people who might support Inwood Academy this fall?

A: “Inwood Academy really cares for their students. They–we–build bonds on a personal level because it’s very important. I feel like students now can’t function if they’re not connected in some way, even small talk in the hallway. The staff always has their way of connecting and being at the level of a student, and I think that makes all the difference.”

You can check out Twanasia’s interview on our Youtube Channel.

#InwoodStrong #WhereAreTheyNow #AlumniSpotlight

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