by K. Brooks
The young and talented, top five American Idol contestant Tyanna Jones recently visited the Children’s Building at the I.M Sulzbacher Center. Her visit was welcomed with open arms as she brought donated food and drinks to children living with homelessness. Jones was fresh off the road from doing a guest appearance with American Idol Judge Harry Connick Jr. in New Jersey.
Tyanna gave the children inspirational messages about never giving up and believing in themselves to do whatever they want to do. She hoped to “encourage them because their situation doesn’t mean it has to continue. They have to have faith and do what they love,” said Tyanna.
Tyanna and her mother, Tammy came to the center to share their personal journey of once being homeless with her dad and 10 brothers and sisters, much like the children and their families there. She wanted to give back to the community she had come from.
During the visit, the children were asked to write an essay reflecting on what they believe in and on things that motivate them. A 10 year-old girl named Cynthia wrote in her essay that she is motivated by seeing Tyanna’s situation and wanting to do as her. Cynthia has dreams of becoming a singer like the American Idol Contestant. Tyanna took the essays and will read each one to pick one child to receive tickets to the American Idol Tour concert coming to Jacksonville next month. The tour will be in 38 cities in seven weeks.
“I know it will be a blur because it’s going to go by so fast, but I’m ready and excited,” said Tyanna. “I knew even if I didn’t win [American idol], I was still relieved that I was able to go on the tour.”
When the tour is over, Tyanna plans to go back to school at Westside High to finish her 12th grade year. After high school, I want to go to Berkeley College and major in Music. “I want to write songs and be in the studio,” she said.
She even has dreams of acting. Her dream role is to have a part on Empire. “I can be Taraji’s niece!” Before Tyanna left the center, she reminded the children to keep their faith and continue to believe in themselves.