With 64 alumni currently on staff at KIPP Houston, each alumnus has a unique and powerful story that has defined his or her journey back to KIPP.
Meet Beka Solis
Houston native, Beka Solis, came to KIPP in 2000 as a 5th grader and was a member of KIPP Houston High School’s founding class of 2008. She woke every morning at 4:30 am to be on the bus by 5:45 am. Beka’s mother instilled a strong work ethic in Beka from a very young age. This work ethic was apparent when Beka graduated top of her class in high school and then became a first-generation college student at Occidental College.
“Once I started college, it made me appreciate my KIPP teachers and how invested they were in my education,” Beka said.
KIPP challenged Beka to become the person she is today.
“I am proud when I talk about KIPP and the role it has played in my life,” Beka said.
Beka as a Student
As a member of the founding class of KHHS, Beka provided critical input that shaped the traditions and legacy of the school. Every Friday, the students would come together and have school-wide competitions. These competitions were filled with laughter because the students were so comfortable with each other, a bond formed through KIPP.
“I remember playing musical chairs during a Friday competition, and one of my friends completely fell off her chair in front of 150 kids,” Beka said. “Everyone thought it was funny, including my friend. Overall, we always had a good time because we saw each other as family.”
Not only did Beka build invaluable relationships with other students, she was guided and molded by her teachers through middle school, high school, and college. These foundational relationships serve as the model in which Beka manages her classroom and builds relationships with her students.
Beka as a Teacher
Beka began as a 6th grade science at Sharpstown but is now teaching 8th grade. Because she changed from 6th to 8th, Beka will be able to teach the same students twice.
“I love being able to build relationships with my students and their families,” Beka said. “I have already said that I am going to teach for a while because I love seeing families with multiple siblings come through my classes.”
Beka is now seeing the fruit of her labor as her 8th-grade students come through her door, excited to learn because they missed her. Her first students will attend college in 2020.
“I can’t wait to see them in five years,” Beka said. “I know I will have such a feeling of pride when I see where they all end up. I’ll know I had a small influence in their lives.”
Giving Back to KIPP
Teachers become part of families at KIPP. Beka had teachers that influenced her, checked on her, pushed her, and more.
“I want each of my students to have ‘that teacher,’” Beka said. “I want my students to look back and say ‘She was very hard on me, but I appreciate the education she gave me.’ Students without that relationship won’t care about their education. That is why I give back to KIPP.”