Walking the halls of Eastwood are future doctors and lawyers and journalists, future innovators and inventors and industrialists. Among them is a future storyteller: Dehrejan Dickerson. Known by his classmates as the most woke person they know, and by his teachers as an intellectual class clown, Dickerson is one of a kind. With plans on attending the University of California, Santa Cruz to study film in the fall, coupled with his boundless creativity and passionate energy, Dickerson has all the markings of an artist on the verge of success.
Having had a knack for writing since a young age, Dickerson said that he's always had creative goals, but that he doesn't want to want to limit himself to a particular media or style, because what's most important is the story being told.
"My aspirations ever since I can remember have always been to be a storyteller, not just a writer or a poet or a director or an actor, but a storyteller," Dickerson said. "Ever since I was little I've always been a writer. In third grade we were given bare books to illustrate and write in, and my third grade teacher absolutely loved mine. We had a competition at school to pick the best book, and mine was entered. I ended up winning the competition and that's kind of when it all started I guess."
Dickerson said that although he does employ a variety of medias, he finds himself most drawn to film, and the unique way that it takes a little bit of everything to make a grand masterpiece.
"I've found interest in many mediums like poetry and music, but I feel like film is definitely my focal point," Dickerson said. "It kind of ties everything together --photography, music, writing-- it all ties it together in an awesome final product."
Irma Quaney, who teaches Dickerson AP Literature, said that he has a way of making sense of the illogical, and looking at things in an off-the-wall sort of way.
"Dehrejan is very creative," Quaney said. "He's innovative. He thinks of things nobody would ever think of, and they make sense in an irrational kind of way. He's a paradox."
Dickerson said that his acceptance into UC Santa Cruz is the first step towards the realization of his dreams, and that it puts him in the right place to accomplish his goals.
"My acceptance into the University of California, Santa Cruz is going to make my hopes less of hopes and more of a reality," Dickerson said. "For me, it's always been about heading west, and heading to California. You get this gut feeling visiting colleges, and something in my gut just said that this was it. It offers the right community, the right people, and a place to make connections. I feel like that's why I have to go there."
Senior Georgie Hernandez, a close friend of Dickerson's, said that Dickerson is unlike anyone he's ever met, and that he can always count on Dickerson to show him something new.
"He's a very unique soul," Hernandez said. "He's always introducing me to new things, new music, new art. He's one of the most creative and artistic people I've ever met."
Hernandez said that, besides being a creative genius, Dickerson is also an amazing friend, always willing to lend an ear in times of hardship, and share a laugh in times of joy.
"He's an incredible friend," Hernandez said. "I can talk to him about anything. It's so easy to talk to him because he's so open-minded, and he listens to everything you have to say without judging and just trying to understand."
Jonathan Stovall, director of the Reveille which Dickerson contributes to, said that Dickerson isn't just an imaginative enigma, he's a genuinely good person.
"I really like his sense of humor," Stovall said. "I like that he's humble and doesn't mind sharing, or giving his time. He pays attention to people without spouting his own opinion, or yelling at people who disagree with him."
Stovall said that, as far as being a writer or film director goes, Dickerson has everything it takes to tell a captivating story.
"I think he'd be a good storyteller because he listens more than he talks, and that's something you have to have," Stovall said. "You have to be interested in other people more than yourself."
Dickerson said that he doesn't see a future where he's not directing or creating, he can't see his life without seeing the stories of other people.
"I can't see myself doing anything else," Dickerson said. "I think I would go crazy if I couldn't create."