By Fabeah Adu-Oppong, KIPP Houston Alumna, KIPP Houston Teacher
I am proud to be a KIPP alumna, a current KIPP teacher, and a past participant of KIPP’s Teacher Leader training program. On KIPP’s 20th Anniversary, there is no greater privilege than to have the opportunity to reflect on the impact this organization has had on my life and the lives of my students.
Over the past 20 years, KIPP teachers, leaders, families and community members have worked together to pave new life trajectories for underserved children across the country, including my students. Despite my humble background, I have had far more opportunities than my parents could have ever imagined for me, including attending a prestigious boarding school in Asheville, NC, and continuing my education at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, where I graduated in 2011.
As someone who grew up in the neighborhood where I now teach eighth grade science, I have had the opportunity to build uniquely strong relationships with my students because I can relate to their struggles and I know what they can achieve. There are day-to-day stresses that make this work hard, but just as my own teachers knew, I know that KIPP is making a difference – and I am so proud to be a part of this movement.
Just like my own teachers did many years ago, I look forward to my students’ college graduations and I look forward to seeing them realize their dreams. Though my students have many dreams, here are some that Blessing, Kate, Linda, Wendy, Carlos, Emely, Gizzelle, Ariana, Veronica, Santiago, Rebecca, Katherin, and Kelby shared with me:
“I will be president”
“I will have my doctorate in surgery and have a family”
“I will be an author”
“I will be an actor”
“I will be in the Air Force”
“I will have a foundation”
“I will be a famous”
“I will be a veterinarian or a psychologist”
“I will be an accountant and start a family and travel the world”
“I will be a Marine”
“I will have a graduate degree, a family and I will be famous”
“I will be a doctor”
“I will be retired!”
For all of the opportunities that KIPP has provided me, and will continue to provide current and future students, I am grateful. I thank everyone in my life – and those who I will never meet – for rooting for my success and for the success of thousands of KIPPsters all over the country.
Congratulations to KIPP for celebrating 20 years of proving what is possible, and cheers to the hard work of our students, teachers, leaders, partners and supporters.
KIPP Academy Middle School ‘03
The Asheville School ‘07
Dartmouth College ‘11
Teach For America, Houston ‘11
KIPP Sharpstown College Prep Science Teacher