Kimmy Lopez was watching her dreams fade away. A single mom at 18 and living in a shelter, she was desperately trying to complete high school, but didn’t have family to support her or anyone to care her infant son, Javiour while she was at school. Lopez, now 20, said she enrolled in the Commerce High School summer re-engagement program in Springfield, Massachusetts — an education plan that gets students back on track to graduate.
Lopez did well in school, and when she told her teachers that she would have to stop coming to school because she had no childcare, they wouldn’t hear of it. Amazingly, they told Lopez to bring Javiour to school and that they would take turns minding him while she took classes.
“I was having a little bit of issues doing my credit because I was so delayed after I had my child,” Lopez told ABC News. “They wanted to help me out as best as they could because they knew I was motivated and I didn’t want to take the easy way out and get my GED. They knew I was taking a 30- to 45-minute bus ride all the way to the school. They also know I didn’t have anyone to help me with my son at the time. I said ‘Hey, don’t think I’ll be able to come to school anymore because I have no one to take care of my son. They said, ‘You know what, just bring him here.'”
“It was beautiful,” Lopez added. “They just lifted my spirits.”
Kimmy Lopez, center with a fellow graduate and her supportive teachers.
Lopez did graduate and went on to attend culinary school. No longer in a shelter, she and Javiour have their own apartment in Atlanta. After recently completing her first quarter of culinary school, she was inspired to thank her teachers for supporting her, and turned to Facebook to do so in a very public way. When she posted this photo of Commerce teacher Tommy Guy holding Javiour, then 10 months old, during a summer school class, it quickly went viral.
“Some teachers go all out for their students, they will do just about anything to help you succeed!” she posted on Facebook. “Teachers are your second parents.”
For his part, Guy says Lopez deserves every bit of the success she’s acheived since graduating.
“The first time I met her, I was very impressed with her,” he told ABC News. “Even in the situation she was in, she was very positive. She was living in a shelter, a single mom with her son. She took advantage of everything she had, even thought it was a very tough spot.”
“I knew when she left, I knew she was going to go on and do good things,” the teacher added. “I think she’s a hero. She’s someone that people could look up to.”
I think Kimmy Lopez would say the same about you, Mr. Guy. Well done! I hope your story will inspire other teachers to kindness and other teen moms to achieve their education goals!