As an America Reads / America Counts counselor at a Tulsa elementary school in 2015, Toronzo was inspired to become a teacher. He isn’t reticent to sharing his experiences, which shape the way he approaches teaching.
“I feel like I can give something to my community – to these students – that they may be missing in terms of representation or how I can relay information to them,” Toronzo said.
Toronzo’s journey to this moment of conviction was a winding one. He grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, as the third of four siblings. He reflects on his childhood positively and is mindful of the fact that not everyone is as fortunate. After attending Jones County Community College in Mississippi, his family moved to Tulsa, where he continued his education.
“I told myself I can only go to the best school, because you know, you only graduate once,” Toronzo said, explaining how he decided where to pursue his bachelor’s degree. “So, I decided to come to OU.”