Joyce Bryant Nu'Man, Class of '70
I am thankful and grateful to God for the many blessings that he has given me and my family.
On my journey in 1968, I moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project near the river. At that time it was only for Caucasians, I was the only African American in my court that moved in during 1968. I was on Welfare, me and my 3 children. My monthly check was $73.00 and my rent was $43.00. There were no Food Stamps during that time in the 60’s that I was aware of. Only $30.00 left to use for the month for food and transportation.
I spoke to my welfare worker and told her I wanted to go to school to better myself. She told me that a school was open near Canal Street and I had to get my high school diploma first before I could start. I just had a year to finish 12th grade. She also told me she would add $30.00 more on my monthly check for lunch and transportation. Boy, was I excited.
I enrolled my babies in Kinsley House Nursery and I went to a public school to study for my GED. I got my equivalency diploma in 1969.
I enrolled in the Adult Education Center and graduated in 1970. Mrs. Alice Geoffray was over the AEC and it was one of my blessings to be there to learn how to type, learn shorthand, to speak in public, learn how to walk properly with books on my head. If it wasn’t for God first and Mrs. Alice Geoffray I don’t know where I would be today. After graduation Mrs. Geoffray and her staff worked hard to find jobs for me and the young women that graduated. I also was one of the speakers at graduation. I left the school typing 75 words a minute and I still type fast. The school found me a job at the United Fruit Company Maritrop Trading Corporation, typing for 9 buyers on St. Charles Avenue. I worked there for 5 years, never missed a day from work. The company closed and moved to Boston.
United Fruit Company wrote a letter of recommendation for me that I was a good worker and a dependable person to hire. I left the company that Friday and was hired at United Parcel Service that Monday. I worked there for 27 years and retired at 55 years of age.
So you see God was in the plan for me to meet Mrs. Alice Geoffray – a mother, a God fearing woman, a caring woman, who helped me get out of the bondage I was in. I hope that God grants Mrs. Geoffray paradise for her good deeds.
So, as I said when I started, I am thankful and grateful. Peace.