My name is Lena Deskins. I am a mother of two wonderful girls-Ellie and Abbie- and a wife to a wonderful man, Harold. My family is very important to me. They are why I do what I do. They have supported me through many professional adventures- Kenan Fellows is one. I teach at Sandy Ridge Elementary School in Durham, NC. I teach students who are academically and intellectually gifted. This is a challenge I took on 9 years ago. I have been teaching for 20 years now. I must tell you that during my internship we had been working together for about 2 weeks when we were out in the field and a scientist asked how long each of us had been teaching. It is something we really had not discussed yet. When I answered everyone was so shocked that I had to take a moment to count it up again to make sure. Yep two decades!
I had heard about Kenan Fellows years ago and had even applied for a fellowship. I interviewed for it and was very dishearten not to receive it. I spent several years watching the fellowships come out each year but none really “spoke to me” until this year. I am so glad to have applied again and continued seeking a Kenan Fellowship.
My Fellowship was a special group called the Citizen Science Kenan Fellows. There was a group of us who bonded together in unique Kenan fashion. I worked at the Museum of Natural Sciences with my mentor, Dr Stephanie Schuttler. The experience impacted my practice in so very many ways. I strongly encourage anyone considering the program to make the leap. The Fellowship is something hard to describe. I have tried on many occasions and I always find myself saying you just got to do it. Apply and see for yourself!