A Teacher's Resolve To Make Sure Teen Graduates
FaithTap Staff 5/30/2017
Given the challenges in our current educational system, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that teaching is one of the most under appreciated professions out there. The strain is felt even more so for those who teach in public schools.
Whether it is lack of resources, lack of funding, or lack of parental support, teachers are always at the mercy of their own ingenuity to come up with ways to keep students engaged!
Thankfully, there is no shortage of good and passionate educators who are in it to make a difference in kids' lives, and as such going above and beyond is just part of the daily job.
Proving the point is a teacher in Georgia who isn't a stranger to dealing with students who have given up on themselves for many reasons. Kimberly Wimbish is trained to be a special education teacher and works for the public school system at Griffin High school.
One of her students, Jamias Howard is a 19-year-old who has had many challenges and setbacks in school. Many of these impediments were self-inflicted and Jamias just couldn't see past his current state of teenage angst and mistrust.
Kimberly recalls what she initially thought about this troubled young man:
"Jamias has had his challenges ... It was like he didn’t trust anyone and he had up a wall. And before you got him, he was gonna get you.”
The problem wasn't just his attitude towards life, but also other difficulties that eventually made it impossible for him to even make it to school during regular school hours. While other students usually graduate high school around 17 or 18 years of age, Jamias, at 19 was still struggling to get his life together.
Kimberly saw this as her opportunity to step up and show Jamias before he was too old to be in the public school system, that people believed in him and that he had what it took to succeed in life. For Kimberly this meant completing a full day of her regular job and then meeting Jamias after hours for tutoring. She remembers how straining but rewarding that time ended up being:
"I had no problems volunteering to try to help him graduate ... We’d meet at the local library or a local park or Burger King, wherever he could walk to. We’d go through lessons and I’d grade him and I’d teach him. He put in his time, and he worked, and I worked, and Lord knows it was a challenge, but it was well worth it."
After a lot of hard work on both their parts, Kimberly was eventually able to confirm that Jamias had enough credits to graduate. She shared this exciting news with him just days before the actual ceremony by driving up to his home, handing him his cap and gown, and reminding him not to be late for the ceremony rehearsal. Jamias couldn't believe what he was hearing:
"Oh man, thank you. Appreciate it, ma’am. I love you so much. Thank you so much for everything you do for me. Appreciate it."
His mom Trenia Howard soon received a call from Jamias sharing the exciting news and she too couldn't help but get emotional about how he had turned his life around, all because one teacher decided to believe in him. She recalls:
"He said, ‘Mama you need to get home. You need to come home right now. I’m graduating.' My eyes starting getting teary when I heard that.”
Kimberly, whose own son is also graduating in the same ceremony, feels doubly proud for what these young men have accomplished. She is humble in taking the credit for any of this of course, but others, they already know how critical her part was in Jamias' success.
"So many people have reached out to me. They want to come to crowd the stadium in an uproar when they announce Jamias’ name. I’m just going to be happy for him and his mother. I feel like I have two sons graduating."
Kimberly recorded this video as she delivered the news to Jamias!
If you think that Kimberly thought that her job was done once Jamias walks that stage with a high school diploma, then you would be wrong.
She has his long term success in mind and wants to see him go to college. To make this happen, she set up a GoFundMe account to start a college fund, which many people have graciously donated to.
We aren't sure if there is anything more a teacher could have done for their student! We wish Jamias much success in his future college career and to Kimberly, please keep doing what you are doing!
Sources: Yahoo News/GMA, Facebook/Kimberly Wimbish, GoFundMe FB Image Credit: Facebook/Kimberly Wimbish