I first met Renee at SIUE. She had John with her; he was about 5 years old at the time. I had also brought my daughter who was about the same age to the meeting in the Writing Department. We talked afterwards and just clicked. She was hilarious, irreverent, no topic was off limits. She and I both enjoyed making lesson plans and working with at-risk students to help them obtain the skills they needed to succeed in college. It was hard at times, but seeing those students graduate was incredibly rewarding. She eventually went on to Collinsville High School, and I was offered a full-time job at SIUE as an academic advisor in the Speech Language Pathology & Audiology Department. I said, “Renee, I don’t want to work with smart little white girls. I want to work with students who need my help.” Renee said, “Smart little white girls need lovin’ too.” She was right. I realized that I had been one of those smart little white girls. I took the job and worked there for 15 years.