Luckily for Sidney Dennis, his dad signed him up for an afterschool martial arts class at Long Branch Elementary School when he was in third grade. “I didn’t really know anything about it,” he recalled. “But I really enjoyed the community. I made a lot of friends and I had to get out of my comfort zone. I learned to do things I didn’t normally do, and I could apply that lesson to everyday life. I learned discipline and respect and I try to carry those through my life. Through martial arts I’ve learned how to treat other people.”
Sidney earned his black belt at age 12, the first student from Evolve All’s early afterschool enrichment classes to do so. “I definitely had a sense of accomplishment, but I knew I had a lot more to learn.” Sidney quickly became an assistant instructor and later, at age ##, a full instructor.
“Teaching was a big responsibility. I don’t think I fully appreciated it until I did it, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Sidney still values the community at Evolve All. “People here are extremely supportive of each other, and we really challenge our students and each other. Students at Evolve All have to work for what they earn.”
Sidney is a rising senior at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia.