Jackii & Fabeah: Lifelong Impact

by Ariel Reynolds on Sep 17, 2015

in Our KIPPsters, Team & Family

Jackii Herrera, a KHHS Kerbero, aspires to be an actress, teacher, or dental assistant. She loves to draw and act in the theater program at KHHS. Her friends describe her as outgoing, funny, and selfless. Jackii knows her opportunities are endless because of the impact KIPP has made in her life.

“To me, KIPP is trying to make a difference about how people view Hispanics and African-Americans,” Jackii said. “I think the next few generations will know we can all go to college and be successful.”

More than classroom success, Jackii has found lifelong support through KIPP. Jackii’s world was turned upside down when her best friend passed away suddenly and tragically during their sixth grade year. Most sixth graders are worried about fashion choices or what activities to join while Jackii was struggling through the realization that her best friend would no longer be with her every day at school. Ms. Fabeah Adu-Oppong, Jackii’s sixth grade science teacher, became Jackii’s support system and carried more weight than any teacher should ever have to in their first year of teaching. Ms. Adu-Oppong herself was struggling to look at an empty desk every day; however, she knew being strong for Jackii was the best thing she could do through this time. She allowed Jackii to break down and feel the pain of the moment but never let that pain interfere with Jackii’s learning. Jackii was pushed to be strong in school and continue on the path she was paving for herself. Ms. Adu-Oppong pushed herself to create a lifelong impact. As a KIPP alumna, Ms. Adu-Oppong thought about the teachers that made an impact in her life and wanted to pay it forward, leaving a legacy with KIPP.

Their student-teacher relationship slowly developed into one of true friendship. Jackii and Ms. Adu-Oppong began running together after school to talk about life. The workouts turned into weekly dinners and application help and graveside visits. 

“She’s like a second mom to me,” Jackii said. “She is loving and always puts my problems in front of everything else.” 

Four years later, the two still continue to get dinner together once a week. Now THAT is the kind of lifelong impact KIPP is building.