Selfless, passionate, and loving are only some of the words used by students describing KIPP Sunnyside High School office manager Bobbie Freeman.
“She’ll treat you like family from the start,” KIPP Sunnyside senior Azyriah Hill said. “She loves us all the same. Before she knows you, she’ll love you. That’s just amazing.”
When Bobbie was looking for a school for her stepson, she learned about KIPP’s mission from one of her church friends. She joined as a big KIPPster three years ago. “We liked what (KIPP) stood for as far as the values that we had at home,” Bobbie said. “To me, what’s most important is your integrity and what’s inside.”
Bobbie states that every job she’s ever chosen has been one that involves helping and caring for others. Prior to being hired by KIPP, she was a medical assistant for more than 20 years. Her experience there led to a smooth transition when she decided to change careers.
“I know what it’s like to make decisions based on an emotion,” Bobbie said. “I tell kids: ‘Choose your passion because money is great but it won’t sustain you. It won’t make you do your job to the best of your ability – your passion will.”’
KIPP Sunnyside junior Adryanna Hawkins said helping and caring is natural to who Ms. Freeman is. “Every time I see Ms. Freeman, she always has a smile on her face,” Adryanna said. “She always asks how we’re doing. If we’re having a bad day, she’ll always find a way to cheer us up. Seeing her in the morning brightens my day.”
For Azyriah, she still remembers the first time she met Bobbie. “I was coming from a traditional public school,” Azyriah said. “I wanted to go back to my old school with my friends. Ms. Freeman came up, gave me a hug and said, ‘Cheer up baby because here, you’re going to create a new family.’”
It wasn’t long after that moment that Azyriah had formed a new family. “She made me want to come to school,” Azyriah said.
This type of example defines the positive influence Bobbie has on the Sunnyside community. She credits her teammates for their efforts and notes that nobody can be successful in a career on their own.
“We all have good and bad days,” Bobbie said. “And we’re all going to go through things. It’s not what you go through – it’s how you go through it. That’s what I tell them.”